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Glenn Halbrooks

Would You Ever Leave Facebook for MySpace or Google+?

By July 1, 2011

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While you've been updating your Facebook status and deciding who to like this week, other social media platforms have made headlines. Both MySpace and the new Google+ hope they can convince you to leave Facebook, or at least be willing to add another social network to your life.

A photo of Justin Timberlake
Will Justin Timberlake's involvement in MySpace give it the buzz it needs to compete with Facebook?
Photo © Getty Images
First, MySpace. If you take your wayback machine to 2005, it was the social media hotspot on the Internet. That was the same year News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch bought it for $580 million -- which turned about to be a rare misstep for the Fox mogul, one of the 11 media people to watch in 2011 and in any other year.

He's no doubt relieved to be able to dump MySpace, selling it for $35 million to a small advertising company, which got an investment from actor/musician Justin Timberlake. Some estimate that Murdoch may have lost $1 billion or more on MySpace.

Analysts say MySpace made critical errors over the years, while allowing Facebook to become the dominant social media network. How will Timberlake and company fix its dwindling traffic?

Timberlake says it will shift its focus to be a cool music hangout. Meanwhile in the backrooms, the site's staff faces layoffs and MySpace's CEO is stepping down. This will be no quick and easy repair job.

This developing tale has overshadowed the launch of Google+. It's a new social network that sent out just a few invitations to sign up only to be met with a reported "insane demand".

Google has tried social media many times before, with a long list of approaches. This time, Google+ appears to be targeting a weakness in Facebook by allowing users to put collections of friends in small groups so that conversations don't have to take place in front of all a user's friends.

As for Facebook, a new study shows that Facebook friends are real friends, while a song about the pitfalls of Facebook interaction has people buzzing.

It's going to be nearly impossible to topple the vibrant institution that Facebook has become and difficult even to become a worthwhile challenger. Of course, that's what most people would have said about MySpace in 2005.

What do you think -- Would you ever leave Facebook for MySpace or Google+?

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