Since February, I’ve regularly praised the marketing efforts of MySpace in Europe. Just like Facebook, Bebo, LinkedIn, and several other services, they desperately tried to get some of the ever growing European social network pie. Yesterday however, MySpace realized that they will never taste the sweetness of the Dutch cake.
All of the American giants face fierce competition of regional social networks like StudiVZ (Germany), Netlog (West-Europe and Turkey), Amiz (France), Hyves (Holland), and Bahu (Mediterranean countries). These networks were the first ones to lure folks into the online social world. People have gone through all the trouble of connecting to their friends. So why would they – all of a sudden – switch to an international version? (More on that here)
A Murdoch-owned company respecting cultural differences
Myspace NL launch
Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace all have different approaches, of which I like the MySpace one the best. Whenever Murdoch’s web 2.0 experiment launches a local version, MySpace installs a local team who knows what’s hot and what’s not in the country and throw a great party. In March I wrote:
I’d thought I would never say this about a company owned by Murdoch but here we go: It feels like MySpace respects the cultural differences more and really wants to make an effort. I hope it will pay off.
Well, in Holland it didn’t. Dutch news site Webwereld reports that MySpace Netherlands throws the towel. Country Manager Holland Derek Fehmers told Entertainment Business that when he entered the market in February, he realized Holland was tough. “We arrived pretty late and had a large competitor which was hard to fight”.
That large competitor would be Hyves. More then 33% percent of the Dutch have registered to this social network.
MySpace Holland made a connection between the offline and online world by organizing parties with local bands. Unfortunately this original and cool approach wasn’t profitable enough. The 650.000 registered Dutch users will now just have language support. The local content is history.
[Photo credit: Polle de Maagt]