MySpace: first-winner advantage, or this year’s model?

As of today, myspace.com is ranked #6 in Alexa’s Traffic Rank system, behind Google and Yahoo!, but not behind by a lot. Do you think this will last?

There’s a lock-in/winner-take-all/positive-returns view, which says that there was a furious race for the social-networking allegiance of the young, and that that race is over now, and MySpace won (sorry Jonathan A). Soon it will be to online teen sociability what ebay is to auctions: sure, you could start another site devoted to that, but why would anyone go there, when everyone who cares is already playing at the dominant site?

The opposite view says that the web is about the most fickle thing there is … except for fashion. And that myspace is the nike/adidas/timberland of 2006 – cool right now, but therefore incredibly unlikely to be cool in two years (and you can see the backlash happening already – not just in the press (which wouldn’t matter) but with 15-year-olds).

Which view do you favor? Me, I’m in the fad camp, not the lock-in camp, but only weakly. So I will make a really weak but definite prediction: two years from now, on May 11, 2008, myspace.com will not be in the top 25 domains as measured by Alexa traffic rank. But it will still be really popular. Anyone have a different prediction?

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One Response to MySpace: first-winner advantage, or this year’s model?

  1. Da Code says:

    Hi Tim,

    I agree with you. I’ve spent hours on Myspace crawling very popular pages or very underground ones, and I can tell the whole Myspace-web has been taken over by *guerilla marketers* long ago. Tons of profiles are just fakes that try to drive visitors to their businesses. Also the site itself begins to be more and more ad-centered, using geo-localization : what next ? Surely targeting even more, thanks to the details one fill-in when opening an account. Nothing _really_ surprising, but still it makes the whole thing losing its coolness. I’ve know Myspace for almost a year (time for it to gain popularity here in France), and I reckon that the “good days are gone”, when one could really discover artists or things in a straight-forward way. Now it’s just another webmarketing tool, the fun is on its way out, and despite new apps like helio (a mobile solutions that lets you use the myspace services) or ideas like myspace records, I would even think that your bet could hold true prior to May 11th 2008 !

    Best regards,
    Yann

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