The MySpace Generation
Business Week recently ran a feature on online social networks, which are growing at phenomenal rates. The biggest is MySpace.com, whose membership has nearly quadrupled since January 2005, to 40 million members - prompting Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation to acquire its owner Intermix Media for $580 million last year.
"With 20 million of its members logging on in October, MySpace now draws so much traffic that it accounted for 10% of all advertisements viewed online in the month."
So sites like MySpace are transforming from simply networking sites to a new advertising and marketing medium.
The premier of the US version of The Office occurred on MySpace. Billy Corgan, the singer and former leader of the band Smashing Pumpkins, debuted his new solo record, TheFutureEmbrace, on the site.
MySpace has the potential to disrupt the ways business is usually done in media and entertainment. "Now that MySpace is here, bands don't necessarily need a label to be heard," Corgan told Business Week in an interview in May. If this becomes true for musicians today, it also could be true for filmmakers tomorrow.
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More from the article:
Although networks are still in their infancy, experts think they're already creating new forms of social behavior that blur the distinctions between online and real-world interactions. In fact, today's young generation largely ignores the difference.
Most adults see the Web as a supplement to their daily lives. They tap into information, buy books or send flowers, exchange apartments, or link up with others who share passions for dogs, say, or opera. But for the most part, their social lives remain rooted in the traditional phone call and face-to-face interaction.
The MySpace generation, by contrast, lives comfortably in both worlds at once. Increasingly, America's middle- and upper-class youth use social networks as virtual community centers, a place to go and sit for a while (sometimes hours).