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Social Media Harmony Draws Nearer Thanks to Mergers

Mergers, crossovers, partnerships—they’re all indicative of one principle: cooperation. From a purely business-oriented standpoint, it’s absolutely necessary. Cooperation with one entity or another can help to form the backbone of a company’s market stability. It can strengthen the solvency of all parties involved and help to ensure that resources don’t get spread too thin.

The digital landscape is certainly no exception—the same business principles apply. Website interrelationships are commonplace, as are websites’ affiliations with larger or more reputable organizations. Websites that are linked to one another often share a wealth of internet traffic between them in relative harmony, and while certain relationships might be more harmonious or successful than others, the concept is sound.

What’s interesting is that, in our uncertain times, partnerships of this nature (especially on the web) are becoming more and more of a necessity.

MySpace isn't a social network anymore: it's a "social entertainment destination."

MySpace isn't a social network anymore: it's a "social entertainment destination."

Most notably, MySpace has recently launched a new function that allows users to import their Facebook profile into their existing page in order to personalize their entertainment content based on their “likes” and “interests” on Facebook. It’s a bold and controversial move on the part of MySpace’s chief executive, Mike Jones, who claims that the new function—referred to as “Mashup with Facebook”—is intended to be a key measure in shifting the site’s focus from being a traditional networking hub to a more entertainment-based publishing site. In a recent interview with The Telegraph, Jones acknowledges that “MySpace is a not a social network anymore. It is now a social entertainment destination.”

Market analysts naturally presume that the once prevailing network has finally admitted defeat, in a manner of speaking, and that MySpace’s new integration feature is emblematic of its loss to Facebook in the online war for network supremacy. Is it better to be at the devil’s right hand than in his path? Or is the move a genuine effort to change MySpace’s purpose for the better? In any case, the integration can’t really hurt them. The almighty Book of Faces recently boasted a “growth rate of 55.2% year-over-year,” in a report by Mashable.

Cooperation, in the case MySpace and Facebook, is ultimately a tricky road to traverse. While it will likely help the former company to better promote its revamped purpose, it’s also a necessary evil for them. Hopefully, in the months to come, the partnership won’t be misconstrued as one party’s subservience to another.

Twitter and Ping have partnered up to deliver a unique experience to users.

Twitter and Ping have also partnered up to deliver a unique experience to users.

A more recent (and similar) crossover has occurred between Ping and Twitter. Apple’s music-centric networking alternative, Ping, now allows users to instantly transfer their activity to their Twitter feed. For example, if a Ping user “likes” or “reviews” a specific song or artist, that particular action is “tweeted” instantaneously, and the tweet will even contain “playable song previews and links to purchase and download music from iTunes,” according to one article. Again, the cooperative effort is more of a promotional strategy on Apple’s part. Will riding Twitter’s coattail for the time being ensure Apple’s effectiveness in promoting Ping? We’ll see.

Of course, video-rental monolith Netflix has seen enormous success in their campaign for continued brand expansion, exploring just about avenue of distribution under the sun. To date, they’ve partnered with innumerous mobile phone and Blu-Ray manufacturers as well as established media giants including—but not limited to—Apple, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, TiVo, the Easter Bunny and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Their legal staff is reportedly in talks with God to acquire the exclusive rights to the human brain and initiate Netflix connectivity at birth, thereby allowing human beings to stream all thirty-seven seasons of Grey’s Anatomy directly from the mind’s eye. But we’ll still have to add Dexter to our DVD queues.

In the years to come, we’ll likely see recurrent examples of the trend. Brand expansion and promotion is easily achievable through crossovers and partnerships. What are your thoughts on the matter?

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Joseph Giorgi

Joseph is the head of the Media Team at Quality Logo Products. He's a video specialist, blogger, perfectionist, and all-around likeable guy. When he's not busy focusing on the nitty-gritty details of his written and visual work, he's normally listening to bad 80s music and scouring the internet for useless information on useless subjects. You can also connect with Joe on Google+.

Comments

  1. Chase

    Very Cool!

  2. QLP Jill

    MySpace has been doomed since 2006 or 2007 when Facebook started allowing non-students to sign up, so it doesn’t surprise me that they finally merged. I think it’s beneficial to both parties because they’re allowing users of both to integrate their accounts into one. I received an email about it the other day but I haven’t checked it out yet…I don’t think I’ve logged into MySpace since early 2008!

    I don’t know much about Ping, but I’m familiar with Twitter and they do seem like a good match for each other. Brand expansion is certainly possible from partnerships (as long as they’re legit), and all of these you’ve mentioned seem like solid deals. By the way, I read that Google desperately wants to buy Twitter but so far they’re not selling – I have a theory that someday Google and Amazon are going to own every other brand in the world and then face off against one another in an epic battle to determine world domination.

    Your comment about Netflix made me laugh! It does seem as if they’ve got their hands in everything these days – from streaming on various game systems to breaking into the mobile aspect – and that’s only the beginning. Even though you joked about Netflix brain connectivity, it doesn’t seem that far off at this point! :)

  3. Cybernetic SAM

    I quit technology, it is way to hard to keep up with, it’s exhausting. And I am Cybernetic so that says a lot. I feel like keeping up with this stuff is like another chore, and takes away from everything else we should be doing. Just doing the reaserch on all these to keep on up-to-date info like everone else there are always a million things to read about. Pretty clever, but evil. Alas, an evil that even the strongest cannot refrain from taking part in. Ladies and Gents welcome to the MATRIX of this international society.

  4. PMO

    Sign me up for the new Brainflix app!

    • JJ "Suite G"

      My “thoughts” exactly.

  5. Scooby DOO!

    While mergers are, in most part, a good thing, I share the common fear of a loss of completion and an eventual monopolization. You can see what that has done to many industries including healthcare, cable providers, and media giants. We all need to trot carefully…

  6. Bret Bonnet

    I never knew Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was for sale – JK! :)

    This is a great post, however I fear as Scooby DOO pointed out… the Facebook and MySpace partnership is not so much about:

    “Brand expansion and promotion”

    but rather a desperate attempt to make a quick buck.

    As many commenter’s on this post have pointed out, they abandoned MySpace years ago. Facebook is arguably the better product and just as both users and advertisers do with Google, they go where the most eyes are, and in this case, that’s Facebook (over MySpace). A social network isn’t very much when no one you know is participating or on the service. Critical mass in the name of the game and it’s more of a battle between Facebook and Google than it is Facebook and MySpace.

    Internet patriarchs of the past such as AOL and MySpace are only around today because of the residual traffic their once strong brand names still drive to their websites. These properties are NOT profitable as trying to monetize a deteriorating assets traffic is a difficult task to do (just ask Tim Armstrong of AOL).

    If I were NetFlix I’d partner/merge with Microsoft so they could combine the consumer behavior data NetFlix has about it’s users with Microsoft’s Bing search engine. Plus, as rumors have it, Microsoft is trying to make a TV play via their Xbox 360 “entertainment system” at the moment, and if you ask me, I think Microsoft would be better off NOT doing this alone (previous attempts WebTV/MSN TV failed miserably) – especially when you consider the critical mass that is necessary to get the market adoption required to make such a product successful.

    Again… almost EVERY business these days is a zero sum game. You’re either on top (almost like ranking #1 on Google) or you’re no where to be found.

  7. Kyle

    If you can’t beat them join them I suppose. It seems like a smart move on MySpace’s part to integrate with Facebook although I don’t think anything is going to bring MySpace back to its prime.

    I also think Netflix is definitely making the right move by partnering with various companies to bring movies instantly to their customers through a variety of sources. With more ways to distribute their product Netflix is making their product more appealing to a wider audience. It’s pretty interesting to see so many partnerships with such a variety of companies. Good post!

    • Tim G

      I definately agree with Kyle. I feel that Myspace does not have much of a choice but to join forces with Facebook. Facebook has become so powerful so fast that Myspace cannot compete with what they currently offer. As for Netflix I also think they are doing a great job parterning with diffferent companies. I had never used Netflix before until I discovered I could access it through my Xbox Live account. This partnership with Microsoft is what truely brought Netflix to my attention and I am currently a Netflix subscriber because of it.

  8. skelly

    I agree! The theme of continous mergers does look like a threat of monopolization. While brand expansion can be good in most cases, it does need to be regulated somehow otherwise the world will eventually be owned entirely by Google and Facebook! Partnering to bring consumers closer together with each brand is a natural progression for growth just as long as these mergers stay within their realm. In other words Google shouldnt go buy a medical company or something to that effect, thats when we really would get total world domination!

    Great post though, I enjoyed reading your insight. And your comment about Netflix!

  9. Stantz

    I had no idea that Myspace had merged/”admitted defeat” to Facebook. If they hadn’t done something like this, they would have probably disappeared forever (which is still a possibility).

    I’m also guessing that Netflix is going to be inevitably streaming-only (in the future when high-speed internet will hopefully be ubiquitous). They have already started offering disc-less, streaming only plans…

  10. Lauren

    This is a very interesting read.

  11. Michelle

    This brings up some very interesting points…nice post!

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