MySpace's new privacy pitch: Too little, too late

MySpace is hoping by offering better privacy controls than Facebook it can get its mojo back. Fat chance!

MySpace is using Facebook's privacy fiasco for a little free publicity, announcing a one-click privacy feature that seems more like an attention grab than an actual play for Facebook users.

By pressing a single button, MySpace users can hide their entire profile to everyone but their friends. The feature will be implemented in a couple of weeks.

It's a great idea, and one that Facebook should use in addition to its labyrinthine maze of granular controls, but don't think this means MySpace is gearing up to fight Facebook in earnest. It can't, and it won't.

MySpace already conceded its war with Facebook. Last October, then-chief executive Owen Van Natta said the site would become a Web content portal for music, video and games. Van Natta resigned in February, but the idea of a new strategy remains. The site's new co-presidents, Mike Jones and Jason Hirschorn, want to make MySpace a place to discover all sorts of new content, from music to games, and even friends.

So, the thrust behind MySpace's privacy announcement is not to convert people from Facebook, but to remind people that MySpace still exists, and to check it out. The old rivalry is rekindled for just long enough to get some attention.

Not that it'll work. The pitch conveniently forgets that MySpace's issues had little to do with privacy, and had a lot to do with spam, hacks and malware that seemed to overrun the site. I'm not sure that people will forgive and forget so quickly.

More importantly, MySpace doesn't do a good job selling itself, at least not to me. I had a MySpace account, and closed it after getting one spam e-mail too many. Going back, it's not clear why I should set up a new account. There's a big banner for an app called "Fame Turns Me On," which you can't actually use without signing in, and little else to draw the eye. If this is content portal, where's the content?

MySpace is still in flux. I don't think the site has fully fleshed out the strategy its new co-presidents envisioned, and at the very least it doesn't make a compelling case to new visitors. So while a change to privacy settings in the wake of Facebook's troubles is opportunistic, it couldn't have come at a worse time.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags FacebookMySpaceinternet privacy

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?