MySpace Joins Rival Facebook in Bid to Rebrand as Entertainment Hub

Whether a partnership between Facebook and MySpace helps the once-dominant News Corp.-owned social networking player recapture relevance for users who have abandoned the site remains to be seen. If anything, the “Mashup of Facebook” partnership, which uses Facebook profile interests to inform entertainment news streams on MySpace, will appear to many like a last-ditch effort by MySpace.

MySpace users worldwide can now connect to their Facebook likes and interests while on MySpace through Facebook Connect. The system will port information associated with a user’s entertainment, music, and celebrity related interests on Facebook to MySpace, which will in turn automate a list of celebrities, movies, music artists, and TV show-related accounts to follow through a stream on MySpace, similar to an RSS feed or Facebook’s News Feed. MySpace interactions will also inform the stream.

facebook-myspace-mashupRather than continue fighting an uphill battle to compete with Facebook as the premier online social networking platform in the U.S. and elsewhere, the project is yet another sign that MySpace has given up that cause in the hopes of re-emerging as a hub for entertainment content with the added benefit of connecting people with similar interests.

MySpace users can customize their streams by adding or un-clicking options provided. For instance, a Facebook user who likes the movie “The Social Network” will see that movie appear as a clicked option in his initial mashup list, and can remove it by un-clicking the “The Social Network” icon on MySpace.

The resulting MySpace home page feed, in this case, would list a recent post to the “Everything The Social Network” page, which features updates about movie reviews and sightings of the film’s actors.

The partnership “supports MySpace’s mission to be the number one social entertainment destination,” said MySpace CEO Mike Jones during this afternoon’s conference call about the project.

Visitors to MySpace today are prompted to “Mashup your Facebook Likes and public profile info to connect with all the entertainment you love for up-to-the-minute news, photos, and more.”

When asked about advertising opportunities on MySpace related to the new features, and how the relationship might inform ad targeting, Jones said that MySpace advertising is powered only through MySpace information. “I can’t speak to any targeting on Facebook,” he added.

Dan Rose, VP of partnerships and platform marketing for Facebook, said the partnership operates the same way other Facebook Connect implementations work. “There’s nothing different about this than any other Facebook Connect implementation or any other Like button implementation on the Web,” he said.

The two companies also plan to introduce the Facebook Like button across MySpace soon in order to share MySpace entertainment interests with Facebook friends.

Rose said there is “no financial component” to the partnership.

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