MySpace discharges half staff

MySpace is scrapping 500 jobs worldwide, about half of the workforce. The social site, part of News Corp, is rapidly losing ground to Facebook. Stories about layoffs have been circulating for some time, especially since major shareholder Rupert Murdoch had set a deadline for the management: within two years profit, otherwise the plug will go out

MySpace is scrapping 500 jobs worldwide, about half of the workforce. The social site, part of News Corp, is rapidly losing ground to Facebook.

Stories about layoffs have been circulating for some time, especially since major shareholder Rupert Murdoch had set a deadline for the management: within two years profit, otherwise the plug will go out. Last year the management already had to acknowledge that the losses had become 'unsustainable'. Murdoch reportedly wants to make the company ready for sale.

Several offices are closed. The German office with 30 employees will close next month, The British office will be greatly slimmed down. MySpace has 100 employees internationally. The Dutch office had closed earlier.

News Corp acquired MySpace in 2005 for $ 580 million, but has not earned a penny since. At that time, the company hardly had any competition from Facebook.

A change in the layout and the addition of captcha's in September 2008 actually ended already. That year it was already clear that MySpace would not achieve the forecasted turnover of 1 billion dollars. In 2009, the first round of layoffs followed: 420 people were able to clean their office. This was followed by redundancies at the international offices.

Due to the phenomenal growth of Facebook, MySpace did not succeed in attracting a broad group of users. However, MySpace remained a place for music lovers. Many pop groups and musicians used MySpace for promotion.

Under director Mike Jones, MySpace was re-launched in October 2010 with a strong focus on entertainment for the target group 13 to 35 years. That, according to Jones, has resulted in a temporary increase of users. Between November and December the number of pages on MySpace increased by 4 percent. However, according to data from Quantcast and Compete.com, traffic to the site has declined dramatically since November.

MySpace had 81.5 million members in November. A year earlier, there were 108.1 million. Facebook, on the other hand, increased from 350 to 500 million users.

The sale of MySpace is the only thing that could save the site, but the question is who would like the company. According to the LA Times, Yahoo would be interested.