Facebook is Hot; Myspace is Not-Why?

Frankly I don’t see the appeal of Facebook-it seems to be a way to waste time, and communicate with people. Didn’t Myspace do essentially the same thing?
Myspace is close to bankrupt-but Facebook now is worth over what…about 120 billion$? Given that Wall Street thinks that FB is worth so much money, what happens if it turns out to be not so great for advertising? Suppose another groud of students comes up with a new website (call it “A Better Place”)-and everybody migrates to it-where does that leave Myspace?

Anecdote incoming:

I joined MySpace aged 16 because it was easier than explaining to everybody why I hadn’t added them on MySpace. Once I joined, I never really saw that there was anything to do on it; I already had a standard I-think-I’m-special-please-validate-me teen blog elsewhere, and I quickly got bored of reading everyone else’s.

I joined Facebook back when it was universities only, initially for the same reasons I joined MySpace. I quickly realised that it was a much more useful tool, as I could organise events and see what was going on with everybody else fairly easily.

The most important difference, I think, was that my university life was in much more need of social organising, as my social group expanded beyond a handful of people I saw every day. Facebook was the de facto university social media site, so it made sense to join it, and it proved itself useful enough that I have so far not seen a reason to stop using it.

They are similar in that they both allow people to connect and communicate, but their focus on who you connected to were different. Myspace was about creating connections to people you thought were interesting or shared common interests. On Myspace, your friends might be bands, people who share your hobbies, celebrities, etc. You might not even have any real friends on Myspace. It was harder to find people you knew because you didn’t have to use your real name.

Facebook was about connecting with people from your real life. It was more like your address book. To many people, that is much more compelling. I’m interested in what those people are doing because I have close, personal relationships with them–not because what they say is entertaining. Everyone in my Facebook friends list is someone I have actually spoken to in real life. That’s why it has such broad appeal–everyone likes keeping up with what their friends are doing. Facebook made it much easier to do that.

I remember what drove me away from MySpace was all the damn customized pages. I started to dread opening a friend’s page and having music blast out of my speakers. Those customized pages were also, as a rule, almost impossible to navigate; you never knew where the links would be on anyone’s page.

FaceBook doesn’t allow that sort of thing (although they’re getting a lot closer to it with the much-reviled Timeline option), so it’s easier to navigate. And I don’t have to have my speakers turned down when I’m looking at my friends’ FB pages.

The last part of your OP, supposing another group of students came up with “A Better Place,” reminds me of AOL Instant Messenger, or AIM. When I was in high school/college, AIM was HUGE. It was how you kept in touch with friends, found out about parties on campus, contacted your classmates with questions about homework, and where you goofed off when you were bored. It was successful in large part because so many people used it frequently, and I couldn’t imagine someone else pushing them out of their position of power.

But then they were pushed out, mainly (IMO) by the chat features on gmail and Facebook, as well as the proliferation of text messaging by phone. And the reason for that was that these other places to IM had other features to offer that AIM didn’t have. Gmail had the e-mail and calendar feature (among other things) that you could view in tandem with your IMs; Facebook had the profiles, photos, events, etc.; and you can bring your phone with you almost anywhere (plus, it probably has features that AIM didn’t have – the ability to make phone calls at a bare minimum).

My guess is Facebook will need to add some kind of additional functionality, probably either enhance their search engine capabilities or start reporting news. Otherwise, I could see them being overtaken by some other company that draws people in by functionality that Facebook lacks.

This, essentially. Also, MS got rid of their groups at one point, which stunk. Further, if a person deleted their account, then all their posts vaporized as well. This was a bad feature for me, since I ran a debate/discussion group (which subsequently got deleted) and we had people who would delete their accounts and thereby ruin the ‘debates’ that had already taken place.

Moved Cafe Society --> IMHO.

I briefly had a Myspace page but it remained just a blank page with my name at the top because there was too much customization involved; I just didn’t want to spend several hours fussing with it, designing and arranging the page with all sorts of little widgets and pictures and things.

Facebook came along and made it easy: everyone has the same page, and adding content is, at its simplest, just typing a sentence and clicking “Post”.

If I recall correctly, MySpace was originally a place for bands to get their music out to a wider audience, customize their page, put concert dates, etc. It wasn’t initially meant for every Tom, Dick and Jane to have a page, but it evolved into that. The ensuing page customization nightmares turned a lot of people away from MySpace.

Facebook was initially meant for college kids (with .edu emails addresses), but around the time people got sick MySpace (and their computers kept locking up from so many widgets and whatnot on their friends’ pages, and porn sites kept spamming them), Facebook opened themselves up to the general public, and this became the de facto social networking site.

If Facebook wants to stay relevant, though, they need to compete with Google in the area of searches. That’s the one frustrating thing about Facebook to me, is that you can’t search for things very well. People searches are basically worthless, content searches are non-existent, page searches are just bad. They give too many results toward the top that aren’t relevant to what I’m looking for.

Facebook, with some work, could be *the *way people use the web-- for communicating (I email less and less these days; I mostly message on FB), getting information (a customizable news feed is great), disseminating information, promoting, etc. Now they just need to develop a better search function, and figure out how to get ads on their mobile apps. Everyone says Facebook is dying; I think if they play their cards right, they could dominate the 'Net even more for years to come.


MySpace was so ugly and so unuser friendly I never joined. Facebook is cleaner and easier to manuver. I want Facebook to succeed for financial reasons. We just got the opportunity to buy some stock in the upcoming IPO.

I never had a MySpace account. As others said, part of the problem with MySpace was that it was too customizable, it was like the young days of the internet in 1998 going to a Geocities page and having seizure inducing flashy font and obnoxious music. Even if I did feel the need to visit someone’s page, I couldn’t find what I was looking for. It seems that all it’s good for anymore is some underground musicians and artists to share their stuff fairly easily.

On the surface, Facebook serves the same purpose, and so I resisted joining it. I eventually did when I realized that it was so popular that now I was missing important things going on with my friends and family because they wouldn’t really bother to tell everyone, they’d just post it on Facebook and assume everyone saw it. The thing it did well was what MySpace failed at, it is much more consistent in its presentation. I can easily see the updates I want to see and it added a lot of other cool features like the games and chat and all. Of course, since then they’ve changed some things in a negative way, like the Timeline feature, but it has so much momentum that that’s not enough reason for any of my friends to have moved to another social networking site.

And that’s really why I don’t see something else coming along and replacing it any time soon. Pretty much everyone who does any sort of networking has Facebook, so it’s the defacto standard. Any smaller site will have a huge climb and will probably be bought out. Any larger competitor has to offer something new and interesting enough to make it worth either maintaining two networking sites or switching over and risk losing some connections. Google tried and, as far as I can tell, it just didn’t have the draw. If any of my friends did completely switch over, I didn’t notice.

But that’s really why I like it. I’m not one of those people to spend hours a day posting random crap on it or whatever. I’ll periodically check for updates from people, comment if I feel like I should, and that’s about it. I’ll ocassionally post news I actually deem important, as in not “I just ate a sandwich” or “going to the gym” but “I’m going on a trip to wherever” and I’ll share some music or images or whatever. I also like to use the chat feature, but really actually looking at the site and updates is maybe 5-10 minutes total a day.

Other than the visual elements I think the biggest difference between MySpace and Facebook is that with Facebook you get a lot more info from a lot less work.

On MySpace you had to wait for someone to post to your wall, and you had to go out and post to other people’s walls. If you wanted to say something general you’d have to post a blog. But you couldn’t just say “Argh, my mom makes me so mad!” and call it a blog post. Then if you wanted anyone to read what you said, they had to make a point to come read your blog. “Conversations” were awful and consisted of a bunch of disconnected posts on disconnected walls. Basically it was all a bunch of people who were sort of connected but it took effort to be really connected. It was way easy to get left out.

Facebook just dumps everything in your face. If your friends do or say anything, it’s right there. There’s no having to go to people’s profiles to see what they’re up to. No having to write a whole blog post to express a feeling or thought. threaded conversations are easy and at the forefront. Nobody’s going to get left out because people don’t visit their pages - your most boring friend’s thoughts are right there next to your most exciting friend’s thoughts. Yes, you do have to take some time to customize it but once you have it set it flows like a river. MySpace was more like a bunch of dark alleys.

Facebook just makes it easier for the people you didn’t quite know were smart/funny/compatible to shine, as well as keep up with people you never thought to keep up with before. MySpace was always still just a popularity contest, or a way to keep in touch with the same people all the time.

This may be a reason why people like Facebook NOW, but I wouldn’t cite it as a reason for the migration. Facebook originally did not have the news feed at all, or the status update capability. You DID have to navigate to another person’s profile to see what they were up to.

In fact, when Facebook switched over to the News Feed format, there was an outrage. There’s a part of me that’s nostalgic for the day when I decided who I wanted to check up on (although they’ve tweaked their features now so that the news that shows up on your front page pertains to the people you interact with the most, so it doesn’t bother me nearly so much any more).

Like I said, I don’t mean to dismiss your idea and it very well may be a reason why people like Facebook now. But if I remember correctly, Facebook was rising in popularity while MySpace was faltering before the features you talked about were implemented.

Another nail in myspace’s coffin from musicians’ perspective is that they removed the free MP3 download feature. It was a great way of freely disseminating tunes to fans and I just don’t know why they ever removed it. Soundcloud seems to have replaced that particular function. Still though, there are few bands that don’t have a myspace page. If they reconstituted it to make it more useful for bands it might continue as a steady niche site.

Facebook was just designed better. Some people liked the personalization on Myspace, but I would get annoyed by pages that took a long time to open and have garish backgrounds and music that started playing immediately.

What’s weird is that I’m pretty sure I remember their search used to be better. If you searched for John Smith obviously too many results would come up. But you could do advanced search and find the John you’re thinking about if you knew his hometown, current city, age, high school, college, or I think a few other things you could search by. But advanced search isn’t available any more.

Facebook now has 800 million users. Even if some new company came along that was better designed in every way, it wouldn’t be any good until a significant number of people started using it.

I can’t remember the name, but this is a common phenomenon. It’s like with the telephone when it was a new invention- it doesn’t do you much good if you are only the second person to have a telephone in the city, because you could only call one other person. But once a majority of the city has a telephone there are a lot of people you could call so it would be useful for you to get a phone.

I don’t have a huge amount of loyalty to Facebook. If most of my friends switched over to Google Plus or any other social networking site, then I would have switched over too. But people already mostly like Facebook, and have all their information there, so any new company would have to be not just an improvement on Facebook, but would have to be a substantial improvement to overcome people’s inertia and get them to switch.

Ah, yeah, I didn’t know that. I was out of college by 2001, but I kept my .edu address and was able to join Facebook earlier than most but not as early as the earliest folks. So I either never saw the original way it worked or I just don’t remember it.

Then again, the beginnings of the site weren’t at the same time as the mass MySpace migration. So maybe the migration didn’t happen until after Facebook did the news feed?

I looked on Wikipedia and it says the newsfeed was introduced in 2006 and MySpace’s decline wasn’t until 2008 (it’s “Rise to popularity” was 2005-2008).

So it sort of looks like the newsfeed, while unpopular with the original users, was fully in place by the time “the regular folks” started coming over from MySpace to Facebook.

But I haven’t been paying close attention to the specifics of either site for all these years, so I too could be wrong :slight_smile:

I only use Facebook to follow a couple of friends who are obsessed with the site and don’t use any other online form of communication. And to play The Sims Social :o

Oh and my horse has a Facebook page. He couldn’t get to grips with Twitter at all :smiley:

Which was why I stopped using MySpace - I’m not really a music fan, and I was driven mental by the constant friend requests (or whatever they were called) from bands or singers.

I find the people search very annoying, I’m looking for some old pony club friends of mine and thought most of them had reasonably unique/unusual names. One name brought up over 100 matches, and the other’s bring up several dozens. 99% of them have privacy settings that don’t let you see if it’s the person you’re looking for, and the 1% that don’t aren’t actually using the site at all.

What really grinds my gears is the way Facebook seems to have become the internet these days. No one has a website any more, they’re all on Facebook. Good thing I never charged people to design websites for them, I’d be seriously out of pocket!!

Network effect.

Just my personal experience, but Myspace allowed too much customization which led to garish pages.

Facebook requires real names but they don’t enforce it. I don’t use my real name and know several others who wormed around that stupid rule.

This a thousand times. MySpace was like going back to the Web circa 1994/95. Facebook had a consistant, clean interface, and was relatively snappy (I remember MySpace being a bit pokey and quite often error-prone.) That is solely the reason I ended up going over to Facebook. Most of my friends were on MySpace at the time, but if I saw one more fucking page with a Comic Sans or Papyrus typeface on a tiled gif background, with an MP3 (at least it’s not a MIDI) playing on entering their personal page, I was going to just lose it.

Facebook has also steadily gotten worse and worse and more visually cluttered. I’d be jumping ship, but I’m afraid too many of my friends have already committed to it, and it works for my business, too.