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MySpace to relaunch

Remember MySpace? No, perhaps not. In the days before Facebook became a multi-billion dollar concern, MySpace was something of a player in the social network field. Until one day everybody woke up and decided it was last year’s thing.

That consensus might have coincided with Rupert Murdoch’s decision to buy the network for $580 million in 2005. Given his recent selective memory, it’s surprising that he even recalls the acquisition, but in fact Murdoch has admitted that the purchase was a mistake.

Quite a costly one too. Once it became apparent that MySpace was a toxic asset, News Corporation sold it off in 2011 for $35 million. Even in the volatile world of internet commerce, a $545 million loss is notable.

The new owners, Specific Media, now have plans to bring MySpace back from the dead, perhaps believing that the brand has been moribund long enough to bask in some retro-chic appeal.

Wisely realising that Facebook and Twitter have the social media universe sewn up between them, the new MySpace will concentrate on entertainment and music. Those are the areas where its power as a social network first became conspicuous, as artists like Lily Allen and Arctic Monkeys built up huge followings using the site.

The new MySpace will offer a forum for new artists to showcase their music and develop their profile. A key investor in the new site is Justin Timberlake. Perhaps he saw how much Bono made from the Facebook flotation, and is hoping to make a few bucks himself. Don’t hold your breath, Justin . . .

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