Case | HBS Case Collection | March 2008 (Revised June 2011)

MySpace

by Mikolaj Jan Piskorski, David T. Chen and Carin-Isabel Knoop

Abstract

The case, set in late 2007, examines what MySpace—the largest online social network—should do to respond to its agile competitor, Facebook. Since its inception MySpace had experienced phenomenal growth, acquiring 20 million members in its first 20 months of operation, and another 70 million a year later, to become the most visited website in the United States. Its growth stalled around mid-2007, just a few months after Facebook had released its programming platform which allowed outside programmers to build applications using its social network data. The wealth of new applications on Facebook allowed the company to increase its membership by more than 15% in one month. To remain competitive MySpace had to release its own platform, and now it needs to decide whether to build its own proprietary application platform or join OpenSocial, a Google-sponsored open source platform.

Keywords: Open Source Distribution; Partners and Partnerships; Social and Collaborative Networks; Competition; Competitive Strategy; Online Technology; Technology Platform; Information Technology Industry;

Citation:

Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, David T. Chen, and Carin-Isabel Knoop. "MySpace." Harvard Business School Case 708-499, March 2008. (Revised June 2011.)