Social Tremors

MySpace's Fall from Favor Threatens Deal with Google

In 2006, which is ancient history in the online social network world, Wharton marketing professor David Bell told Knowledge@Wharton that "there is a fad or a fashion component to all these networks. Some will come and go." At the time, MySpace had risen to the dominant position in what was then a new sector, luring users from early-riser Friendster by offering a better array of tools for sharing photos and music.

Now MySpace is the network that's losing traffic, and that threatens to diminish the value of a $900 million search agreement it has with Google by about $100 million, according to an article in the Financial Times. Knowledge@Wharton also noted MySpace's loss of traffic in a recent article, "Early Tremors: Is It Time for Another Social Network Shakeout?"

“On many dimensions — building traffic, brand-building, etc. — MySpace has been an unmitigated success," says Wharton marketing professor Eric Bradlow, who co-directs the Wharton Interactive Media Initiative. "However, the question remains: What is the viable business model for a social networking web site? [MySpace] started with … advertising [charging fees based on the number of times the ads were viewed], has been moving towards widgets, and may move towards targeted ads based on the network data.  However, as with any start-up, what business you end up in is not always the business you start in.  I think the same will be true for My Space.” Widgets are tools that attract MySpace visitors to third-party services, generating revenue for MySpace.

Others have noted the differences in social media environments as a factor driving people to or from any particular site. A recent CNN report noted a study by market research firm Nielsen Claritas which found that people in more affluent demographics are 25% more likely to use Facebook, while the less affluent are 37% more likely to be on MySpace. 

Citing Knowledge@Wharton


For Personal use:

Please use the following citations to quote for personal use:


"Social Tremors." Knowledge@Wharton. The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 05 November, 2009. Web. 19 January, 2019 <>


Social Tremors. Knowledge@Wharton (2009, November 05). Retrieved from


"Social Tremors" Knowledge@Wharton, November 05, 2009,
accessed January 19, 2019.

For Educational/Business use:

Please contact us for repurposing articles, podcasts, or videos using our content licensing contact form.