Wednesday 12 January 2011, 11:47 | By

MySpace confirm 500 jobs to go

Digital

MySpace

So, as expected, yesterday MySpace announced it would be axing 500 jobs, or 47% of its overall workforce. The cull comes as the one time king of social networking continues to see traffic and revenues slump as it tries to reinvent its business model so to distance itself from rivals Facebook and Twitter.

On confirming the cuts, CEO Mike Jones insisted the redundancies were not a sign that the revamp of MySpace that took place late last year had been a failure, rather they were necessary because that revamp had changed the nature of the MySpace business, and therefore how many employees were required. Many reckon the headcount cut is part of plans by owners News Corp to offload MySpace to another media or digital company.

Although the vast majority of MySpace’s 1060 staff are based in the US, the smaller teams elsewhere in the world, including London, will also be affected by the cull. In particular, all sales for MySpace UK will be taken over by another News Corp company, Fox Networks, removing the need for an in-house sales team. It is thought some of MySpace’s UK sales execs may be moved over to the Fox company.

Looking forward, Jones told reporters: “We are committed to rebuilding the company with an entrepreneurial culture and an emphasis on technical innovation. The new organisational structure will enable us to move more nimbly, develop products more quickly, and attain more flexibility on the financial side. While it’s still early days, the new MySpace is trending positively and the good news is we have already seen an uptick in returning and new users”.

No, I’ve no idea what ‘uptick’ means either. Actually, I do, he’s adapting a City term to mean ‘increase’. But I’m pretending not to understand, because otherwise everyone will start using ‘uptick’ when what they mean is ‘increase’.

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