DeWolfe says it's become very mainstream. "It's about consuming content and discovering pop culture." In that sense, MySpace now resembles a traditional Web portal like AOL or Yahoo, but with a personal, social bent.
A huge, loyal, lingering user base is music to advertisers. Alan Rambam, a senior vice president at the ad agency Fleishman Hillard, says parent Fox Interactive Media "clearly envisioned [MySpace] as a portal." That said, he adds, "I thought they would be much further along with that today." Original content allows MySpace to sidestep the thorny problem of placing ads on profiles with sexually explicit or other questionable content.