MySpace launches Facebook mashup - can it win back users?

MySpace appears to be surrendering to Facebook's triumph in the battle of the social networks. But it's still got some fight left in it...

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 12 Jan 2011
Can sworn enemies become BFFs? MySpace is certainly trying – the social network has just launched a new service, called ‘Mashup with Facebook’ (MyFace?), that allows users to import their likes, dislikes and profile information to MySpace to create a ‘ready-made’ profile. It’s another ploy by the once-dominant site to win back the hearts (and eyeballs) of the masses, after user numbers dwindled. But can it really claw its way back into their affections?

The Mashup uses the Facebook Connect service to allow Facebook users to move information about the music, films and celebrities they like over to MySpace with one click, creating a ‘real-time stream’ of updates from their favourite bands and slebs. MySpace is also planning to install the Facebook ‘like’ button: when users click it, whatever they’ve ‘liked’ on Myspace will come up on their Facebook stream – so it works both ways. Sort of. It’s not actually much different from the other million-odd websites currently using Facebook Connect – the main disparity being that Facebook and Myspace were once big rivals.

There is a sense that this is a last-ditch attempt by the website that gave us Lily Allen to get a slice of Facebook’s 600m-strong pie, when its own user numbers have dwindled to a little over 130m. Last month, the social network launched a rebrand (which saw its logo change to the unnecessarily conceptual ‘My____’) and put more of an emphasis on entertainment than social networking. It was a wise enough choice; indeed, the few users still remaining on the site tended to be bands making use of the music streaming function to showcase themselves. So this relaunch has possibilities. Whatever becomes of it, though, it’s certainly a sign that Facebook is quickly gaining traction as the undisputed king of the web.  

Interestingly, the move also puts both sites into competition with Apple, which launched a belated attempt at a social network a couple of months ago. The company created Ping after it saw a niche for a music-based social network. But, given the pitiable amount of publicity it’s received so far, our money’s going on MySpace to win this one – if it manages to make the most of its new-found friendship with Facebook. Watch this ___.

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