MySpace 'Mashup' Opens Door To Facebook Users
Effectively conceding that Facebook has won the social networking crown, MySpace will allow people to log into the site with their Facebook login and share content more easily between the two properties through a new partnership announced Thursday.
The effort, dubbed Mashup with Facebook, underscores MySpace's strategy to reposition itself as more of a music and entertainment hub, with Facebook having long since become the dominant online social network. To that end, MySpace will let users port their Facebook "Interests and Likes" information into MySpace to create customized content streams on the site.
The new feature leverages Facebook Connect and builds on an initiative that MySpace unveiled in August called Sync with Facebook that let its users sync status updates with their Facebook profile and share content more easily with Facebook friends. The latest alliance is intended to match users' Facebook profile data and interests with music, movie, TV and celebrity-related content on MySpace.
MySpace will also adopt Facebook "Like" to allow its users to share material from the site with friends on Facebook.
At a joint press conference today, MySpace CEO Mike Jones said the new integration with Facebook rolling out globally today illustrated the company's strategy to be the Web's "leading social entertainment destination."
But Dan Rose, vice president of partnerships and platform marketing at Facebook, left little doubt which side was the social heavyweight of the two in discussing the deal.
"This is a great example of MySpace's new direction, which is very focused on entertainment, and obviously Facebook is very focused on building a social platform, and this brings together two strategies that make a lot of sense in a partnership," he said.
The initiative involves no direct financial component, but should benefit MySpace by helping to boost traffic and engagement and help Facebook by expanding the user data it collects via social plugins such as the Like button to better target advertising on the social network.
Jones said any advertising tied to customized content streams through the mashup "still resides on MySpace and is powered through MySpace information." He added that when the Like button is rolled out on MySpace, it will send that user data back to Facebook.
For his part, Rose said there was nothing about how Facebook Connect, its program for letting users access other sites with their Facebook ID, or the Like button, was being added to MySpace that was different from any other site.
Facebook blew past MySpace in worldwide traffic two years ago and hasn't looked back since. It now boasts more than 500 million users compared to about 130 million for MySpace. News Corp. COO Chase Carey said earlier this month in a conference call with analysts that MySpace's "current losses are not acceptable or sustainable," raising speculation that the media giant could shutter the site. News Corp. acquired MySpace in 2005 for $580 million.