Social network wars – Facebook & class, Myspace & music, and Friendster’s not dead yet

I’ve been meaning to comment on Abe’s comments on my Myspace vs. Friendster post, but now comes along something else interesting:

Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace by danah boyd.

This is well done and interesting. I’ve got nothing to argue with here, per se. But what’s interesting to me is that Facebook has only been open to anyone since September. Now that everyone can sign up, will it remain a status-symbol social network? Any my point about control remains. If Facebook gives users more options and Myspace tries to force everyone to use their tools, will people stick around? People choose Myspace over Friendster* because it was less restrictive.

It’s also worth noting that teens under 18 only make up 12% of Myspace users. But some of the same social stratification may apply for older users as well. I signed up for Facebook in September because several friends of mine who were in college around 2005 use Facebook exclusively. People who aren’t in college and don’t know anyone in college are less likely to want to sign up because the networks for them are smaller.

As to Abe’s point about Myspace and music… I think Myspace will continue to be relevant for musicians, actually. It’s one area where Myspace is genuinely useful. I’ve been using it to book acts for esoZone. But before I started book musicians, there was nothing that Myspace offered me in terms of music that I needed to be registered user for, other than updates from the bands and the signal to noise ratio got pretty bad.

*Looks like Friendster might not be dead after all.

1 Comment

  1. Looks like Myspace is going to open up for developers: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/f8b11252-25a7-11dc-b338-000b5df10621.html

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