Business Technology

Thursday 22 February 2018

MySpace 'will be forced to allow Facebook Connect'

Emma Barnett

MySpace will soon accept Facebook logins, according to Silicon Valley sources, in a move that will be seen as a final capitulation in the battle of the social networks.

The news follows on from Mike Jones, MySpace’s chief executive, admitting last week, that the site was no longer a social network, effectively surrendering to Facebook.

Last week, Jones would not be drawn on what he called “rumours” that MySpace will soon implement a Facebook Connect button across its service, allowing people to use their Facebook identities on MySpace.

However, several technology executives, present at this week’s Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco, have told the Telegraph that MySpace has been left with no choice but to do so.

“MySpace are going to install a Facebook Connect button across the site, but no one at the company can admit it publicly yet. They have to. They need the same audience to come to MySpace, that now goes to Facebook, if their re-launch to a social entertainment portal is going to have any traction,” said one Silicon Valley-based technology entrepreneur, who wished to remain anonymous.

Another senior technology executive, also speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the move: “MySpace has finally realised that it needs to face the inevitable. It needs to get out of the way of the oncoming train and just get on board. Installing Facebook Connect is a bold but very necessary move. It will happen imminently.”

Talking to The Telegraph at the Monaco Media Forum last week, Jones said the bold statement: “MySpace is a not a social network anymore. It is now a social entertainment destination.”

The troubled site is pinning its hopes of renewed success with a return to its music and content roots.

Three weeks ago, the redesigned MySpace, which focuses a lot more on content, rather than social networking, launched in the US.

Everything has been changed; right down to the logo – which is now the word 'My' and an extended underscore to represent the ‘Space’.

MySpace, founded in 2003, at its peak had more than 100 million registered and active members, but its audience has been declining since the rise of Facebook in 2008.

It has come under increasing pressure from its parent News Corporation, which bought the site in 2005 for $580m (€430m) in 2005, to reverse its ailing fortunes.

On an earnings call at the start of this month, Chase Carey, News Corporation’s chief operating officer, said: "We've been clear that MySpace is a problem. The current losses are not acceptable or sustainable." And that he wanted "a clear path to profitability" on a timetable measured "in quarters, not in years”.

MySpace lost $156m in the quarter that ended in September 2010 compared to a loss of $126m in the same period last year, on revenues of $298m, down 25.5pc.

Jones said that Carey’s words were taken out of context, and that all of News Corp’s businesses are assessed quarterly.

“There is no timeline to shutdown MySpace. The goal of relaunching the site is to a build a new path and use the tools of social around entertainment content which will appeal to audiences aged between 13-35 around the world,” Jones explained.

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