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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Facebook Colonizes MySpace with 'Mashup'

Posted By on Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 5:10 PM

click to enlarge Like MySpace, the rebellious Vercingetorix eventually surrendered to Caesar
  • Like MySpace, the rebellious Vercingetorix eventually surrendered to Caesar

In the latest piece of tech trivia to emerge in a technologically trivial week, MySpace CEO Mike Jones announced today that his ailing social network will now allow its users to import a wide range of information from their Facebook profiles. It's called "Mashup."

MySpace, you ask? Surely you remember the old site that served as the personal repository of record for most web users before Caesar Mark Zuckerberg crossed the Rhine, and that has since been superseded by Facebook. Today's announcement was, in effect, a post-facto formalization of Facebook's dominance, with Jones describing MySpace as "a complimentary feature to Facebook and other social platforms."

What MySpace gets out of this isn't too hard to see. By bending the knee before the larger social-networking company, MySpace will get access to profile information that will, in theory, allow it to provide users with "social entertainment" suggestions and pages -- ostensibly the company's new stock in trade -- that are more in sync with people's preferences.

A more difficult question is how the conquering heroes at Facebook stand to benefit from the arrangement. JP Magalindan at Fortune magazine suggests that Mashup could be pure PR on Facebook's part, a gesture intended to give the impression that the company -- frequently criticized over its abuse of supposedly private profile information -- is trying to empower users to do with their data as they see fit. Nothing like a little munificence from the victor.

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Peter Jamison


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