Who Uses MySpace?

Feb 21st

While I still have a MySpace account I never log in anymore. There was too much spam to deal with. And my girlfriend got so many creepy messages that she had to delete her account. Generally, to use MySpace much, you have to do one or more of the following:

  • not value your time much

  • have a lot of spare time
  • be desperate to connect, and have few outlets
  • be a creep sending creepy messages
  • be an anonymous creep viewing profiles
  • be an automated spam bot or something that phishes accounts

MySpace grew too big to keep any sort of community feel the way that Digg has. It tried appealing to too large of an audience, and now it has no value outside of tracking the latest spam offers.

If I had a viral widget idea of course I would still want to pitch that to MySpace, but generally, as an end user, I just don't see any value to MySpace, do you?

This lack of value can also be thought of in ways that search engines may value certain types of websites that are not well integrated into communities on the web. If you spend time and money wading too deeply into those categories (or creating those types of site) you not only waste your time and money, but you also are not focusing on how to build trust and perceived value.

If it is your first site, it is awful hard to understand how to create perceived value and do the marketing well enough to be profitable before getting burned out. I think any type of site can have an editorial element bolted on to add credibility. And editorial content should be easy to add to a site if you are in tune with your marketplace and your customers.

If one channel is easier or more compelling to subscribe to than another then it is going to get more links, more attention, more readers, and win due to network effects. But if the channel gets so broad that it doesn't stand for anything eventually it will melt down, especially as smaller niche sites that are more relevant and easier to identify with are created.

Published: February 21, 2007

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Comments

February 22, 2007 - 2:46am

There's only one reason why most people that I know use myspace. Online episodes of network tv shows. I watch 24 @ work every once in a while via myspace.

February 22, 2007 - 4:17am

My eldest has just started High School and commented the other day 'Whats Myspace? Everyone at school is on myspace'
(We're only just letting her start to use the net, and most sites are locked off at the proxy)
So the 11 - 18 demographic may still be in there.

Cammie Noel
March 17, 2007 - 3:00am

I am in my forties and love myspace. I am an artist and filmaker,and musician, and my husband is a musician.It is a great networking tool and i never spam anyone, i sometimes get spam but myspace is good about deleting spammers. Also it is a cool way to interact with people who have commen intrests all around the world.
It is not only for creeps, of course anything to do with the internet attracts them. I am not desperate to connect, nor do i have alot of spare time.
But i just had to say my opinion, because that is really a generalization.I am an intelligent person and very busy, yet i love myspace, and so do others that i personally know, in my age group, and in my friend's age group(30's 40's)

Basic Guide to SEO
February 22, 2007 - 7:13pm

We have found MySpace to be quite useful at our Company; we are starting to see a fair amount of traffic and sales for our main website from targeted groups at Myspace. You just have to set up the right strategy (don't spam) to reach those groups.

February 22, 2007 - 9:12pm

I'm almost 30, and don't see the appeal. I understand it's not designed for me, but I really don't understand why people like it so much.

Can't say I get the concept of a "friend" being someone you don't know wanting a link on your page. I thought a friend was someone you could have a beer with.

And I guess there's only so much white on black reading you can do in one day, and only so much animation you can deal with, and MySpace fills it's quota pretty quick.

Having said that, if you were marketing to teenagers, you would be nuts to not get involved.

Vithya
April 24, 2007 - 2:23pm

hi,
i was reading everyone's comments, and i found it very interesting...
i am doing a project on myspace, trying to find out who uses it more frequently and what motivates them to use it?

any ideas????
from my results i found that students use it more frequently, but funnily enough employed individuals use it very frequent too.
what i cant figure out from my results is that wahat actually motivates them..they all say to make friends..but do they really?????

Orlando
February 22, 2007 - 9:50pm

Hello everyone - I'm 24 and have been using MySpace for a number of years now. Let me tell you that place is still kicking - a large number of my friends use Myspace as their main form of communication. Most of them also run a Facebook account as well.

Though spam is irritating, most of us brush it off without too much complaint.

It is still a good place to get in touch with niche communities - for example, the Mixed Martial Arts community has been very receptive to a recent campaign I ran for a clothing line. We actually met a number of folks who were interested in sponsorship / colaboration / etc. While it's a little difficult to rack up big numbers without a significant time commitement, it does still hold value.

All depends on how you use it.

February 22, 2007 - 11:10pm

How can a person leave Basic Guide to SEO as their name on a blog comment of an SEO blog and tell people not to spam?

Credibility -1

February 23, 2007 - 12:23pm

Ok, Aaron is smarter than a lot of his readers, I hope. My comment above seems to have led people to track down ways to contact me to tell me I shouldn't be contacting his girlfriend on MySpace.

So, for....the....slow....people.....I.....never....contacted....Aarons....girlfriend.....on.....Myspace. I.....was....making....a....joke....so....up....your....meds....and....dont....contact.....me.

March 9, 2007 - 10:24am

I used to hate myspace....until I started to use it (not that I love it now...), but if you need to create a network (music, art, hobbies, etc...) it is a very good tool.

The most common mistake when thinking of MS is to consider it as "a" community, while it is actually the sum of many different communities, that have only a platform in common.

February 24, 2007 - 3:09am

Any of you guys ever think about myspace as a blog? I think its a good way to get links to your site, along with post a lot of information that google or yahoo will find.

February 24, 2007 - 6:41pm

As a 20 year old, with minimal experience in anything...

I'd say MySpace is great, not only from a social perspective but from a business one as well.

Personally, I've been able to meet my girlfriend, start small online businesses, pick-up jobs and meet celebrities on MySpace.

My friendbase is about 400 friends, 350 of whom I know personally. I started using myspace when I was 16 right about 8 months after it was released.

The links from myspace to other URL's are helpful, because my page has a pagerank that my websites do not have at first, so it's easier to get them indexed even if they're on my main page.

I never really spammed anyone, I simply sent friend requests for my e-commerce sites MySpace profiles, people would accept and initiate contact with me, sometimes infact - spamming me with comments or messages.

So MySpace isn't bad...and I use on a daily basis for personal, networking and business purposes.

P.S. Am I the only 20 year old that cares of Search Engine Optimization?

February 24, 2007 - 6:50pm

Oh...and just so you know your page will start off with a zero pagerank so dont try to pull some sort of seo strategy by creating a bunch of myspace profiles and linking to your site...it wont work.

cjb
June 8, 2007 - 6:29pm

I 'm a bit like Auston Bunsen--not much experience at anything. Big dif is I am not 20 but times 3. I have only begun to use my space and have yet to determine its value. I must remark for so much critisizm sure are lots of folks using it. I enjoy provoking others to say what is on their minds (skip hostile minds) and hope for some good exchange of ideas.

cjb
June 8, 2007 - 6:30pm

I 'm a bit like Auston Bunsen--not much experience at anything. Big dif is I am not 20 but times 3. I have only begun to use my space and have yet to determine its value. I must remark for so much critisizm sure are lots of folks using it. I enjoy provoking others to say what is on their minds (skip hostile minds) and hope for some good exchange of ideas.

Stephane Blache
May 29, 2007 - 3:48am

I have a myspace to promote my music, it gets a chance to be heard by other artists and i get to discover very interresting bands and artists myself in return.

It gives a chance for a lot of indie, unsigned unknown artists to be heard and to step out of the dark underground alleys of unknownship a bit.

Then i can exchange tips, artistic opinions and so on with them.

All that with no web site hosting or promotion fees, and next to none coding skills being necessary.

I find good value in that.

February 21, 2007 - 7:55am

Sorry Aaron. I had no idea she was your girlfriend.

Anyway, I've never seen any real value in MySpace. The only reason I ever setup an account was to access a couple of my neighbors/friends profiles. And I don't even visit for that anymore.

And the fact that it's developed worse than my very first script from 5-6+ years ago also detracts from anything that might be enticing about the site.

February 21, 2007 - 8:43am

Who uses Myspace? I don't know, but it must take more than a few people to get that ranking of 6 on Alexa.

Different demographics have different values. Rock music yesterday, Myspace today.

Just from my own experience; a lot of niche market players use Myspace to communicate and connect with their audience. Its a hell of a lot easier for a small town tattoo shop to set up a Myspace page than a website (that no one is going to read or visit.) Myspace is full of noise because it puts everyone on a very level playing field. A $20 million club isn't going to have a better Myspace page than a local bar.

Myspace absolutely has become a spam magnet -- and not just affiliate spammers. All the bands, event promoters, and shops have been spamming profiles well before the "deluge." It is costing them; Myspace is falling out of favor and causing many users to move toward narrow vertical social networks or more closed off communities such as Facebook.

February 21, 2007 - 11:15am

I think the problem is you've missed what the target market is and isn't:
It's meant for 10-18 year old people. They don't care about spam. They don't care about other people sending them messages.

For them, the whole point is to get as many friends as possible, and to be findable. The point is to have what is, in essence, a mini website about them, that they can refer people that they meet to, and be found by others by.

Bands use it a lot as well, for the same reasons: connect with as many fans as possible, and be findable. Speaking as someone who came from music, I'd say that having a myspace page is now at least as important, if not moreso than having a normal website.

The basic difference is the level of interaction. On a myspace, you feel like someone from the band has added you to their friends. Like you're somehow now actually their friend. Like they know you. On a normal website, you're just another fan.

Going back to the community/friends side, you feel like you're now a minor celebrity - you have a thousand friends! You're popular! You're cool!

In a society where popularity and sex are prized above all other things, myspace gives people a way to become awesomely "popular", whilst being flirted with by as many men/women as you can want.

And therein lies the appeal to the 11-18 demographic: sure, it may be a lie. The other people/bands may actually not give two hoots. But it's the illusion of friendship, of being wanted by these other people that myspace users are after. Whether it's real or not is by the by. They're happy with what they create in their minds, based on it.

Rant over.

February 21, 2007 - 12:46pm

For me the amount of spam on Myspace is the biggest problem. I am a very social person and liked communicating with my friends on MySpace for a while, but now I just use Facebook since I never get any spam there, the site has a cleaner feel, and I now have a lot more friends there. In my opinion, as all those teenagers on MySpace grow up and go to college the popularity of Myspace will decline and the popularity of Facebook will continue to rise.

February 21, 2007 - 5:23pm

The only people who I've seen get real value without phishing is bands and clubs. Having attractive models and quasi-celebes appearing at your club or event seemed to work dragging people in to pay the cover

February 21, 2007 - 6:32pm

I think there is more value in Myspace than people realize.

I was just contacted recently for an interview for a trade publication and wouldn't have been contacted had we not had a Myspace account. (http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/articles/social_netwo...)

Also, we have created Myspace pages for clients in different industries and seen good results (and some not so good). We have a client that sell Yamaha parts and has a great number of contacts on their profile. We see a few sales a week coming from Myspace after we post different bulletins with our weekly specials. We also have found through data analysis that these customers have a greater lifetime value than the ones that reach the site through search engines.

I think it can help your brand as well as provide more traffic. Is this the case for everyone? Of course not, but I think since it is so easy to set a profile up, it is worth giving try.

Guillaume
February 21, 2007 - 6:47pm

Hi Everyone,
Most of the comments are about "I have a myspace, but I don't use for anything at all". Indeed, there too many guys that have a myspace for the only purpose to have one, to post uninteresting pictures of themselves and uninteresting pieces of one's life "Hi everyone, I just took a dump..."
Personnaly, I use myspace for what it's made for: promotion in a network/community feel....
Most of you must have realised that musical myspace are THE way for bands and artists to broadcast themselves even if you're unable to launch a satellite around the planet. Fully custom friendly, you can broadcast sound into a fancy flash player I wouldn't be able to develop by myself, show videos in 2 clicks.... and so on, only with a hint of html knowledge.

But the real value of myspace is the network. In 2007, Internet will about sharing communities and networks or won't be. The more you're visible....the more you're visible. It's that simple.

To finish, a quick examples:
A british band from sheffield opened a myspace account, put their music into it. Few month later, the record company that signed that band had to release the LP 3 months eralier because of the Internet success. On the day of the release of "whatever people say I am, that's what I'm not", Arctic Monkeys killed the record of the number of sales in one day in the UK owned till this day by......The Beatles. (more than 300000 copies in one day!)
It all started in myspace....

February 21, 2007 - 8:54pm

I do - I've contacted and affiliated with over 1,300 bands from the Midwest alone, ultimately leading them to my site, which is similar to MySpace - without the garbage.

I do feel if you know how to get around the crap, it can be useful. Don't post messages to garbage profiles, don't respond to garbage messages, etc. My profile has stayed pretty spam free for the most part - when I get an automated message, I simply delete it.

I also post to the area University boards. People have affiliated themselves with the University of Wisconsin, for example. The bots rarely do that. Those threads are useful places to market your services - you just have to know what pieces of the site are useful and which are garbage.

February 21, 2007 - 6:12pm

Aaron,

As a "old man" I never though tI would find it useful, but it is now, as enough of my friends have profiles and 1 even uses it as a main contact point.

You said:
be an anonymous creep viewing profiles

Yeah, I try to find hot easy chicks, even sent a message to one, but it does not seem to be working so far...

February 21, 2007 - 5:31pm

Pete is right about the demographics. The only people I know that use it are middle schoolers. And adults that work in youth related areas.

February 22, 2007 - 12:10am

Very tricky to write off a demographic you don't belong to. Read a recent blog where the daughter of the blogger dissed dear old Dad with a comment something to the effect of "Dad, you just don't get it! MySpace is reality!!"

Don't need to convene a focus group to realize there's a lot of devotion happening there. I think the sheer size of the community--knowing your peeps are going to be there--has a lot to do with its success.

But that's how a lot of hot internet properties make it--getting first to market with a new wrinkle on an old idea and gather the largest market share.

It DOES seem likely that a new site could eat MySpace's lunch in the U.S. market at some time due to the many issues they have. But they fix lots of little issues every day there, and garner a lot of trust from their devoted user community despite the glaring issues that keep the rest of us away.

February 22, 2007 - 12:17am

one point, Aaron (hi !) to reach certain age groups for events, etc. museums are finding myspace useful

http://www.myspace.com/mountainplains

is one example I'm involved in.

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