No wonder that hundreds of social networking start-ups – eyeing niche markets from dog enthusiasts to high level executives to moms – are sweating and grinding to peel away some of MySpace's market share. With the announcement that MySpace is now earning "in excess of $30 million" a month in revenue, the days of speculation over whether there was any real money to be found in social networking are long gone indeed.
Pete Cashmore at Mashable asks: "Should we be surprised that one of the world’s biggest websites actually has the ability to generate some revenue?" If anything, it was surprising to me that it took them this long to ramp up earnings on an audience roughly the size of Jupiter.
CenterNetworks' Allen Stern uses this news as an opportunity to speculate that the transition from print to online news and magazine publications will quicken. He then asks: "Will the Internet become clogged with these new online-only magazines?" I would think that the Internet is already "clogged" with just about everything. Quality content and hardnosed marketing and audience acquisition and community building are the keys to the online content kingdom.
MySpace is without doubt king of the hill in the social networking space. They're now making money through advertising and cutting deals to allow some exclusive third-party widgets to reside on user profiles. But if they don't innovate and give their massive (and fickle) audience a reason to stick around, social networking-seekers will find innumerable other places to decorate their personal space.