MySpace and Facebook announced a new service called "Mashup with Facebook" that will allow MySpace to suggest entertainment content to its users based on the entertainment interests and preferences those users have expressed on Facebook.
Using that information MySpace will customise an entertainment page for the user at MySpace. The page will not only offer content from bands, TV shows, movies and celebrities, but will suggest related content the user might also like.
Here's how it works. When you log into MySpace, an opt-in "Connect" button within the sign-up and log-in box will ask you if you want to allow MySpace to use your Facebook data to customise an entertainment page for you. If you say Yes, you'll be taken to a page where all your favourites are waiting for you, along with some new stuff.
The announcement isn't the first friendly agreement between the two companies. In July, MySpace made it possible for its users to send the content they put on MySpace (photos, status updates, links and videos) out to Facebook (and Twitter) with just one click.
The companies say there are "no financial terms" (i.e. no revenue sharing) around the new agreement, but both companies will benefit materially. Using Facebook data, MySpace can suggest entertainment content to users that they are more likely to enjoy and then buy from MySpace's entertainment company partners.
Facebook says that for now, the entertainment choices users make at MySpace will not flow back to Facebook to further enrich its huge database of user data - its most valuable asset. But MySpace says it will soon implement Facebook "like" buttons all over its site, and when a user expresses a preference by hitting one, that data will flow back flow back to enrich Facebook's already-huge cache of highly personal user data. This data is extremely valuable to Facebook app makers and marketing partners.
MySpace has taken a sharp strategic turn over the last year toward being an entertainment site (with social networking features) as opposed to being a social networking site with entertainment features, as it once was.
Asked if this move represents an admission of defeat by MySpace in the social networking war, MySpace CEO Mike Jones said Mashup with Facebook is just a way of giving MySpace users what they want. "We have seen a migration of our own users toward entertainment content," Jones said.
It's true that MySpace has always had a strong entertainment bent, acting as a friendly host to bands and artists of all kinds. But it's still an obvious "if you can't beat 'em join 'em" move, and one that's probably the best thing MySpace can do now, considering Facebook's domination of the social networking space.
Facebook now has more than 500 million members and climbing, while MySpace's member count had been reduced by half by mid-July of this year.