MySpace vs. Facebook: Which Site is the Current Cool Kid?

June 4th, 2010
by

by Lauren Shapiro*

In high school, you have the “cool” kids, the “cool” new song, or the “cool” thing to do. As adults, you have the “cool” office, the “cool” gadget, the “cool” place to have lunch, or the “cool” car.

It seems like such a clear distinction: this jacket is “cool,” but these jeans are not. But who dictates what is “cool” and what is not? I don’t recall how we first learned to determine the cool factor. They were more like a set of unwritten rules that everyone just seems to know and agree upon.

Even though we have left high school far behind us, every organization and professional still wants/needs to be with the “in crowd.” And when it comes to social media, the cool social networking site, theoretically, will provide the greatest reach. So, it is imperative for companies utilizing social networking sites to be conscious and ahead of changing trends. But in the great debate, MySpace vs. Facebook, which site is currently the coolest?

Both sites launched within one month of each other, spearheading a cyber revolution of connectivity and networking that would change the way we communicate on both a personal and professional level.

As shown in the chart below (compiled by me from various sources), MySpace officially launched in January 2004 and grew from a start-up to having 1 million users in only one month’s time. Before year’s end, MySpace reached 5 million users. Facebook started just one month later, but had a much slower growth – reaching 1 million users 10 months after launch and 5.5 million users 1 year later.

MySpace vs Facebook: Who is the current cool kid? (A BurrellesLuce Image)

However, Facebook was first released exclusively to universities who requested to be added to the application, starting with Harvard and expanding to Stanford, Columbia, Yale, and later all colleges and universities, high schools, and eventually to anyone with a valid email address. MySpace, on the other hand, launched as a site open to everyone who cared to join. Perhaps, this could be one explanation for Facebook’s slow but steady rise to the top.

Yet, on paper, Facebook is still the perceived cool site – despite the recent fallout over dubious privacy settings – with almost double the U.S. users. But, just as in high school, there is no clear divide between cool and un-cool. Mimicking the lesson we learn post high school, no one thing is the standard cool for everyone. Rather as marketing and public relations professionals we must recognize that different mediums exist for different preferences and thus attract different users.  Although Facebook trumps MySpace with their overall number of users, organizations debating on which site to use should research the demographics and lifestyles of the key user they wish to target and then focus their message and branding appropriately. Then they can be sure that both their company and clients are “cool” because they resonate with the preferred target audience.

When it comes to Facebook or MySpace, tell us which site you’re using and why. Which is the cool place to reach your target audience and clients? What are some tools for leveraging these mediums? How have these sites helped your client service initiatives? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

***

*Bio: Soon after graduating from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in 2006 with a B.A. in communication and a B.S. in business/marketing, I joined the BurrellesLuce client services team. In 2008, I completed my master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications and now work as the supervisor of BurrellesLuce Express client services. I am passionate about researching and understanding the role of email in shaping relationships from a client relation/service standpoint as well as how miscommunication occurs within email, which was the topic of my thesis. Through my posts on Fresh Ideas, I hope to educate and stimulate thoughtful discussions about corporate communications and client relations, further my own knowledge on this subject area, as well as continue to hone my skills as a communicator. Twitter: @_LaurenShapiro_ LinkedIn: laurenrshapiro Facebook: BurrellesLuce

6 Responses to “MySpace vs. Facebook: Which Site is the Current Cool Kid?”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lauren Shapiro, BurrellesLuce. BurrellesLuce said: Which is cooler, Myspace or Facebook? @_LaurenShapiro_ @BurrellesLuce http://budurl.com/8dlr […]

  2. […] See more here:  MySpace vs. Facebook: Which Site is the Current Cool Kid … […]

  3. One year later, lets see where the chips may have fallen.

    In a straight up comparison, each has their merits. Facebook is more community based application. Its private from the outside world, and lets you act with friends and family in a way where you feel more comfortable sharing photos and other things.

    Myspace is open to the world. Its a more ready tool to make a pitch to outsiders or follow up with celebrities compared to Facebook.

    The problem with Myspace’s model? Twitter came along and pretty much stole their selling points while introducing a platform that simply looks more professional. Facebook has its segment cornered, it one the community social network war. The next battle is for the “follower network”, to which Twitter has become the network to beat.

  4. […] MySpace vs. Facebook: Which Site is the Current Cool Kid?  Sometimes it’s not so easy to tell “cool” from “un-cool” – especially when it comes to social networks and professionals who want to be with the “in crowd.” Although Facebook trumps MySpace with their overall number of users, organizations debating on which site to use should research the demographics and lifestyles of the key users they wish to target and focus their message and branding appropriately. Then they can be sure that both their company and clients are “cool” because they resonate with the preferred target audience. […]

  5. Susan Smith says:

    As per my point of view in social networking platform, Facebook will always score high because of its features, apps, games, and overall presentation of data. My space is also a nice social networking site however it need some improvement..
    Cheers,
    Susan Smith.

Leave a Reply