ADOTAS – The headlines have screamed “MySpace concedes defeat to Facebook” or something along those lines, but newish CEO Owen Van Natta — a former Facebook exec who has held the reigns at MySpace for five months now — has been on a press binge trying to spin a different tale.
Sure Facebook registered over 30 million more users than MySpace in September, but Van Natta doesn’t consider the sites competitors anymore.
To prove that, MySpace is undertaking a dramatic redesign in an attempt to switch the focus off user-generated content and turn site into an entertainment forum. Noting that messaging between people ain’t monetizable, Van Natta aims to transform the site into a place where users can discuss film, TV and music with friends and strangers.
Channels such as jobs and classifieds are being axed while professionally produced content is highlighted — for example, last week Van Natta announced partnerships with major music labels to establish a music video channel on the site. Central to this strategy is luring advertisers to highly engaged users. All in all, it would clearly define MySpace not as a Facebook rival but a completely different kind of social media.
But first and foremost, Van Natta acknowledges that MySpace needs a thorough spring cleaning.
“We’ve been way too spread out.” Van Natta told Mediaweek. “We’ve been a mile wide and an inch deep… and the product wasn’t always great.” True that.