A Death, A Birth, A Possible Terminal Diagnosis

It’s an interesting 24 hours in the world of social networking with big news related to three big companies that marks them moving to a new stage. Basically, we’re seeing a death, a birth, and a possible terminal diagnosis.

First the death. Kara Swisher is reporting this morning at allthingsd.com that News Corp. is selling MySpace. Based on the excellent, detailed story on MySpace over at Bloomberg Businessweek and the fact that  News Corp paid $580 Million in 2005 and is unloading it today for $35 Million, it’s clear that MySpace is following Friendster to the Island of Misfit Social Networking sites.

Next the birth. Google announced yesterday it’s latest attempt at a Facebook killer: Google+. It’s very early, to be sure. But some of the early reviews of it sound that after the failure of Buzz and Wave, the third time may be a charm and Google may have something that will stick around.

Finally, a possible terminal diagnosis: Twitter. Biz Stone announced yesterday that he’s leaving Twitter. On the heels of several other reshufflings and the fact that Stone has been the face of Twitter from the beginning, you have to wonder if this is going to turn out to be Twitter’s “jump the shark” moment.

We’ll see how this all plays out. But it’s been a big day for social networkng.

4 thoughts on “A Death, A Birth, A Possible Terminal Diagnosis

    1. Christopher Budd Post author

      Honestly hard to say for sure. Your point about the ads is a good one though and could be part of it. I’ve never understood how Twitter as constituted could be a moneymaker. I think it may be that the money concerns are getting more acute and that tends to make things not fun any more.

      Having worked for a startup in the Bay Area during the dotcom book, I can say it was a BLAST when we didn’t have to worry about money. But when the money concerns started up, it got unfun very quickly.

  1. Jenny

    Not sure I would read too much into the Stone departure. Given that he was also part of the Xanga.com enterprise (which was a step along the social blogging path), this looks more like he’s simply moving on to the next project. Indeed, his blog indicates he’s heading over to Obvious, the incubator that birthed Twitter. Granted, that might point in some way to things being “unfun” at Twitter but that might be in terms of idea work rather than money/revenue issues.

    1. Christopher Budd Post author

      I don’t disagree. But given it’s not just him leaving but there’s been cycling through folks, I think there’s broader risks to them. Plus I still don’t know they really have a business model.

      So, I do wonder if this could be the first big marker of a decline.

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