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Cyworld Invades U.S.

CyWorld is the MySpace of South Korea, a social-networking monster (in that country) where up to 90% of the under-20 population are believed to be members. At the top of the company's New Year Resolution list for next year is collecting eyeballs from other parts of the world, namely the United States.

Social networking is every bit the phenomenon in the U.S. that it is in Korea: Teenagers spend untold hours per day using (mostly) MySpace, sending messages, updating photos and posting video. Of course, that doesn't mean that Cyworld has a chance to win here. For starters, 3-year-old MySpace dominates not just the U.S. but also the world market, with 140 million members. It would make more sense for parent News Corp. to decide to takeover in Korea as part of a greater Far East push.

Michael Streefland, a marketing director for Cyworld, believes that MySpace is just a "a rite of passage site that you would join during a particular phase in your life"; his company represents "a site for the real you." However, numbers from comScore Media Metrix don't back him up. Almost 41% of MySpace users are between 35 and 54.

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Read the whole story at Financial Times »

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