Tuesday, July 10, 2007


MySpace is a popular social networking website offering an interactive, user-submitted network of friends, personal profiles, blogs, groups, photos, music and videos internationally. It is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California, USA,[1] where it shares an office building with its immediate owner, Fox Interactive Media; in turn, the owner of Fox Interactive (and therefore MySpace), News Corporation, is headquartered in New York City.

According to Alexa Internet, MySpace is currently the world's sixth most popular English-language website and the sixth most popular website in any language,[2] and the third most popular website in the United States, though it has topped the chart on various weeks[3]. The service has gradually gained more popularity than similar websites to achieve nearly 80% of visits to online social networking websites.[3] It has become an increasingly influential part of contemporary popular culture, especially in English speaking countries.[citation needed]

The company employs 300 staff[4] and does not disclose revenues or profits separately from News Corporation. With the 100 millionth account being created on August 9, 2006,[5] in the Netherlands[6] and a news story claiming 106 million accounts on September 8, 2006,[7] the site reportedly attracts new registrations at a rate of 230,000 per day.


The MySpace service was founded in August 2003 [2] by eUniverse/IntermixMedia. eUniverse provided MySpace with a complete infrastructure of finance, human resources, technical expertise, bandwidth, and server capacity right out of the gate so the MySpace team wasn’t distracted with typical start-up issues. The project was overseen by Brad Greenspan (eUnivere's CEO), and headed by Chris DeWolfe (MySpace's now CEO), Josh Berman, Tom Anderson (MySpace's now President), and team of programmers and resources provided by eUniverse/IntermixMedia.

The very first MySpace users were eUniverse employees, the company held contests to see who could sign-up the most users [3]. The company then used its resources to push MySpace to the masses. eUniverse used its 20 million users and e-mail subscribers to quickly breathe life into MySpace, and move it to the head of the pack of social networking websites. The key architect was tech expert Toan Nguyen who helped stabalize the Myspace platform when Brad Greenspan asked him to join the team [4].

Shortly after launching MySpace, team member Chris Dewolfe suggested that they start charging a fee for the basic MySpace service [5]. Brad Greenspan nixed the idea [6].

DeWolfe and Berman were later able to take partial control of the property until it was later repurchased by its parent company Intermix Media, which was bought in July 2005 for US$580 million by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation (the parent company of Fox Broadcasting and other media enterprises).[8] Of this amount, approx. US$327m has been attributed to the value of MySpace according to the financial advisor fairness opinion.[9]

In January 2006, Fox announced plans to launch a UK version of MySpace in a bid to "tap into the UK music scene"[10] which they have since done. They also plan to launch in China and possibly other countries.[11]

The corporate history of MySpace as well as the status of Tom Anderson as a MySpace founder has been a matter of some public dispute.

Tom Anderson

Tom Anderson was an employee who worked at eUniverse beginning in 2002. Anderson worked in a variety of marketing roles and in 2003 was deployed to work in the MySpace division in a marketing capacity.

Despite what is said to the media, and what Tom himself now tells the media, he did not create MySpace. MySpace was conceived by a combination of eUniverse resources, persons, and properties. According to developers close to Tom Anderson at the time, they noted he did not appear to know HTML for he did not contribute any code to the development of MySpace [7].

Contents of a MySpace profile

Blurbs, blogs, multimedia

Profiles contain two standard "blurbs": "About Me" and "Who I'd Like to Meet" sections. Profiles also contain an "Interests" section and a "Details" section. However, fields in these sections will not be displayed if members do not fill them in. Profiles also contain a blog with standard fields for content, emotion, and media. MySpace also supports uploading images. One of the images can be chosen to be the "default image," the image that will be seen on the profile's main page, search page, and as the image that will appear to the side of the user's name on comments, messages, etc. Flash, such as on MySpace's video service, can be embedded. Also there is a "details" section which allows the user to provide personal information on the user such as his/her race, religion, and sexual orientation. As of May 2, 2007, a very popular Myspace Group called "I Support" reported that the sexual orientation feature of Myspace had removed the option of "gay." Myspace states that this was an error caused by a bug in the system - it now lists gay/lesbian as a sexual orientation option.

Friend Space
An image used to signify when a user is signed in
An image used to signify when a user is signed in

The User's Friends Space contains a count of a user's friends, a "Top Friends" area, and a link to view all of the user's friends. Users can choose a certain number of friends to be displayed on their profile in the "Top Friends" area. The "Top Friends" used to be restricted to eight friends, commonly called the "Top 8". People bypassed this limitation by using third-party tools to emulate a "Top X" friends. MySpace now allows four, eight, twelve, sixteen, twenty, twenty-four, and now up to and including forty friends to be displayed in the "Top Friends" area. If a friend's page has been deleted, blank spaces will be shown on the pages. If the user clicks onto "edit friends", there will be a block that says, "this profile no longer exists". Before the "Top 8" system was put in place, the eight friends displayed on the user's profile were the first eight friends to sign up for Myspace. When the user's entire friend list is viewed, all of their friends are shown sorted in order of their signup date, regardless of their placement in the user's "Top Friends."

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