Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Advent of MySpace

According to recent news reports, MySpace.com is now the most highly trafficked webtsite in the United States, eclipsing search engine giant Google. Like the blogosphere before it, MySpace has become a force to be reckoned with, a fact that has not escaped the attention of Google who just inked a deal to provide search functionality on MySpace. This latter fact came to my attention as I was sitting in the WiFi lounge at Search Engine Strategies San Jose 2006 at a table with a couple of people who work for Yahoo!

I've known for quite some time that MySpace was becoming more and more popular, and while it holds very limited appeal for me, I have visited the site when directed to it by friends who have opened an account. What caught me by surprise is that there are people who use MySpace as a communications medium the way that I use e-mail, which explains why MySpace has become more popular than Google, as e-mail is still more of a killer application than search. What also caught me by surprise is the fact that most of the exit traffic from MySpace is comprised of search queries. As such, Google should see a huge surge in traffic.

Google could have acquired MySpace a while back, but apparently didn't see the potential. Now Google will be forced to make revenue-sharing payments to Fox Interactive Media totaling at least $900 million between the beginning of 2007’s first quarter and the end of 2010’s second quarter. In the long term, MySpace stands to gain even more from this marriage of convenience as it will be able to partner with service providers outside of the search engine space.

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