NEWS > BUSINESS > MYSPACE LAYS OFF 30 PERCENT OF STAFF, USERS
MYSPACE LAYS OFF 30 PERCENT OF STAFF, USERS
June 17 2009
New York, NY – There’s little doubt that MySpace is one of the most important websites in the history of the web. It did not invent the idea of social networking by any stretch, and its design and philosophy has always been a step behind t he rest of the web, but their sheer popularity has cemented the sites place amongst the most
influential and important that the medium has ever seen no matter the criticism or ridicule it currently endures.
With a depressed economy further hurting the already difficult task of making money on the web, and the continued rise of Facebook to social networking dominance, the News Corp. Owned MySpace is being forced to make cuts. Laying off 30 percent of its staff, the company hopes to return the service to a ‘start-up culture’ and bring it back into profitability. In keeping with that philosophy the company has also made plans to cut a significant number of its users in order to reduce costs and return it to its small scale roots. Unlike the employees, users are reportedly more than willing to oblige the company in its efforts.
“Simply put, our staffing levels were bloated and hindered by our ability to be an efficient and nimble team-oriented company,” said Owen Van Natta, CEO. “I understand that these changes are painful for many. They are also necessary for the long-term health and culture of MySpace.”
They did not specify exactly how many users would be cut off from the service but it is estimated that at least an equivalent 30 percent will be let go. Because of largely inaccurate user numbers issued to the public, there is no way to determine the actual number of people that will no longer be with the site.
“Luckily for MySpace most of those users haven’t used the site in a long time so there will be little to no public outrage. They may pop on one day and find their account is no longer active but of course that is nothing new to people who have been using the site for a number of years. Most people have had to start a new account when their old one inexplicably disappeared at least once,” said Scrape TV Technology analyst Ken Kevins. “Fortunately for them as well they won’t have to field thousands of complaints from those users. Aside from the fact that very few of them will complain, there’s not a whole lot of customer service available at the site and that makes it a lot easier all around.”
It’s not clear how much money the company will be able to save by cutting users but it’s believed to be significantly more than they will save from the reduced salaries.
“Websites are all about server space and bandwidth. Rent becomes very expensive when nobody is paying, something that has vexed companies almost from the
beginning. As sites become bigger and bigger revenues don’t necessarily increase but costs do which puts them in a tough position. Luckily MySpace has an advantage over rivals like Facebook in that they can cut their user base at will and suffer no ill will as a result. That’s an enviable position in the web world,” continued Kevins. “There is of course a risk that by cutting users they may drive people to rival sites in ways that their archaic interface or the obnoxious design of most of the pages have never been able to do. Of course that could all be a part of the plan. If they drive the less desirable users over the Facebook they will burden them with useless users. Of course you can’t use crummy HTML on Facebook so that might limit the number of people who switch.”
We attempted to contact MySpace for comment but received no response, as expected.