Social networks have come and gone. While some, like GeoCities, are closed down entirely, others like MySpace and Bebo fade into obscurity. However, according to The Wall Street Journal, MySpace might not be dead after all, and the social network is experiencing advertising growth every year.
Mike Shields wrote on the Journal‘s CMO Today blog:
Between desktop and mobile devices, MySpace reached 50.6 million unique users in the U.S. in November. That’s a massive surge of 575 percent versus the same month in 2013.
Additionally MySpace users generated 300 million video views in November 2014, placing the site 16th in comScore’s Video Metrix ranking system.
Users have also been returning to MySpace on Thursdays to collect Throwback Thursday photos. Tim Vanderhook, chief executive of Viant, MySpace’s parent company, notes that the company still has a large cache of user email addresses — 1 billion worldwide — and that Viant plans to use that data as part of an advertising strategy called “The Advertising Cloud.”
Variant has lined up registration data from multiple online media companies to combine with the MySpace data (he won’t say which companies are supplying the data, but noted that it’s not Google, Facebook or Amazon). Viant can then take that registration data, anonymize it and connect it with advertisers’ own in-store shopping data.
If MySpace is able to capitalize on that sort of data, then it will be able to deliver direct return-on-investment results and other metrics to advertisers that provide content for the network. Since the heyday of MySpace, every social network has become a big data company. If MySpace is able to provide returns for advertisers, particularly in the 17-through-25 demographic, MySpace is currently serving, the network could start working its way back into the mainstream.
Monetizing user data is what social networks do now. Between advertising and data mining, MySpace has the potential to put itself back on par with Twitter and other networks. Whether this could result in greater user numbers isn’t clear, but if MySpace is experiencing growth anyway, perhaps more users won’t be a problem. Besides, it doesn’t take all that much to catch up to the big networks.