MySpace Gets Cleaned Up For Advertisers, May Wish It Hadn't
Because News Corp. is salivating over the potential millions in ad revenue advertisers eager to reach 60 odd million MySpace members may dump in its lap, the company is cleaning up MySpace, removing racy profiles and "offensive" images. It may all be for not as teens and twenty something will likely say "screw it" to News Corp's attempts at cleanliness and move to other social media spaces or create ones none of us has heard of yet. MySpace became a guerrilla overnight. It could fail overnight too. These days, it's too easy for people to gravitate to a place where they feel comfortable rather than put up with corporate censorship simply to please advertisers. It's the advertisers who will have to adjust rather than the corporations.
It's an endless cycle, of course, with no resolution as advertisers will never be comfortable placing their ads next to a teen in a thong and teens will never stop posting pix of thongs. It's a battle with no end. Today, it's MySpace. Tomorrow, it might be Tagworld. The next day, who knows but it will never end. Individuals will create environments they like and if advertisers don't accept that, every move they make to "clean up" an environment will destroy the very environment they were so excited to tap in the first place.
One can debate the negative aspects of what appears to be the pornification of the teenager but it's really no different that it has been since teens first walked the Earth. The thoughts and feeling were always there but there was never a channel through which to express them. Now, every thought anyone has can be as public as they choose to make it for the entire world to consume. Whether or not those thoughts should be publicized is, again, debatable.
Certainly MySpace will be around for a while but it's lost it's cool. You can just hear the moan of 60 million people wondering what happened to what once was the coolest place to hang. The Internet's done many things but the bigest ting it's done is create an endless supply of continuous change.