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In 2004, when I was in my second semester of eighth grade, MySpace was the “it” place to go online. In fact, for the most part, the only reason teens went online was to update their MySpace pictures, accept friend requests, design their profile layout and message MySpace friends. It came to a point where my parents would only allow me to check my MySpace for a restricted amount of time. MySpace was popular for at least another few years. It was in 2007, my Junior year of high school that I heard of and signed up for Facebook. I then became a Facebook junkie and dropped my love for MySpace.
Facebook, which was initially exclusive to universities, soon expanded to high schools, and eventually to anyone with a valid email address, has now become the top dog in social media. Facebook has now exceeded MySpace by 400 million users. People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook. The average user creates 90 pieces of content each month in those minutes; that’s 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month.
I just assumed that because I grew out of MySpace that everyone else did too. In many ways, many people did. With the rise in viruses, other malfunctions, and sexual predators, many MySpace users called it quits and moved on to Facebook. However, MySpace is still growing; but less in numbers of users and more with its music scene. MySpace Music is the world’s most popular music site and the number three music network in the category. Millions of musicians and over 70 million music fans use MySpace to sample, discover, and share music. Each week, MySpace adds 500 new artists, and premieres 25 new albums to MySpace users. Gaming is also very popular on MySpace. In a single day, over 1.6 million users spend 18 million minutes playing over 19,000 games and applications on MySpace.
It is clear that Facebook dominates when it comes to sharing photos, staying in touch with friends, status updates, sharing links and videos, blog posts and other online social activities. However, MySpace has not been left behind in the digital Stone Age. It has just evolved from a once active social networking site to a more heavily based music networking site.
But does Facebook have the same fate as MySpace? Could Facebook turn from a once thriving social networking site to a site riddled with viruses and sexual predators, only used to play Farmville and take quizzes on which Disney Princess you are most like? I think it all depends on the trust users have in Facebook. From a social networking standpoint, if people start to feel that their privacy is being compromised, then they will move on like many have from MySpace. Do you trust Facebook?