This was originally posted on http://www.skrenta.com/2007/06/are_network_effects_getting_we.html
Srini*: Iraq war? social network war? even mentioning these two in the same sentence is absurd madness – and in my view naive. (* this blog poster sighted similarity between the Iraq war and fight between social network brands)
Moving on: MySpace may die because its lost core focus on why it was a success (if you exclude the 50 million email list they started out with), which is namely music. If they re-focus on being the best music social network (not to mention overhaul the entire service technically and its terrible UI) then it may yet survive. More people (Jun 07 writing) are still joining MySpace than Facebook, although FB’s growth rate (compared to its own userbase) is higher. Not surprising when MySpace has 100m+ users.
Facebook clearly has some strategy, the UI is better, the user experience is better and in general its more upto date and better thought through. MySpace is a mess; privacy is poor, technically its poor and the userbase has little loyalty.
LinkedIn will in my view survive provided it adapts. If it doesn�t take note of why SOME business people like Facebook, it may fade; but the brand IS an issue. I dont actually want my business profile tied up with my personal profile. They serve different purposes and are for a different audience. The geeks may switch -along with the rest of Silicon Valley- but the rest of the world will use a business network for business and social for social. Look at the issues appearing with employers looking up users on FB to discover their past … that alone prevents FB becoming LinkedIn; and if it did, then FB might lose THEIR core users.
If someone comes up with a killer band/music site which is “enough” better than MySpace, AND free, it could well result in a mass-exodus. Social Software sites HAVE to keep evolving and adapting to trends, their users evolution and the competition. The leadership has gone from MySpace; it could well become a lame duck a la AOL and faster than people might think. I dont know a single person who has one good thing to say about MySpace – and no they are not all on Facebook … but some are – and most of those have moved from MySpace.