When the News Corporation added MySpace to its portfolio nearly three years ago, it expected that if its base of 16 million users kept growing , and each user kept adding friends, sharing photos and swapping flirty messages , the advertising dollars would roll in, the New York Times reports.
The social networking site has grown , to 118 million worldwide users , and the flirtations have not stopped. But the cash is not coming in as quickly as the company had hoped.
In the fiscal year that ends in two weeks, the News Corporation unit that encompasses MySpace will miss its $1 billion revenue target. When the News Corporation announced the projected shortfall in April, several analysts downgraded the company, sending shares down 5 percent.
With an eye toward monetization, MySpace is being redesigned beginning Wednesday with a new home page, which will be less cluttered and more hospitable to advertising. (The home page will also feature a "splash page" for an ad about the new Batman movie, "The Dark Knight.") The redesign, to be done by early fall, will include a new navigation bar, search tool and video player.
The redesign is intended to address a problem of social networking sites, which is that many user pages have the aesthetic appeal of a 14-year-old's high-school locker. But there are still many questions left about the advertising value of social networks.
Read the full New York Times story . (registration required)
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.