Social networking site and smaller Facebook rival MySpace confirmed Tuesday that it is slashing nearly half of its workforce, a move that helps it prepare for a restructure, and possibly even a sale, amid heavy competition and continued losses.
The 47% cut to its staff, which equates to some 500 workers, follows the acknowledgement by News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS) executives of dissatisfaction with MySpace’s continued financial woes, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
News Corp., which owns the social media site, has hinted at the possibility of selling the site, or conducting some other form of disposal, should its turnaround strategy fail.
Both FOX Business and Dow Jones are owned by News Corp.
MySpace CEO Mike Jones has said that while the site’s audience is small by number, particularly compared to Facebook, its new strategy will shift toward a more committed audience, one that advertisers can more specifically target, an effort it hopes will boost revenue.
Facebook, for example, had 154 million unique visitors in December, more than triple that of MySpace, according to comScore. MySpace, however, stopped long ago trying to directly compete with its larger competitor, having since formed a niche in the sharing of entrainment content, including music.
The CEO also noted that the company is committed to rebuilding MySpace with an entrepreneurial culture and an emphasis on technical innovation, according to Dow Jones.
Since the new strategy has been rolled out, some 3.3 million new user profiles have been created, with 134,000 topic pages, which are used to connect users to content from outside websites, such as blogs.
The job cuts will be evenly distributed throughout the company, however many of its international positions have been slashed due to the structure of the new strategy. Jones said the staff changes are driven by issues related to its legacy business and "in no way reflect the performance of the new product," according to media reports.
MySpace will be entering into strategic local partnerships in the U.K., Germany and Australia to manage advertising sales and content, according to the report. In the U.K., Myspace will enter into a strategic alliance with News Corp.'s Fox Networks.
News Corporation owns MySpace and the FOX Business Network