From the Schadenfreude Dept: MySpace ‘Matures’

For all those out there who take a kind of twisted pleasure in the misfortunes of the rich and famous, the WSJ (sub req’d) is reporting (via iMedia) that traffic and registrations to MySpace and Facebook are slowing:

Both MySpace and Facebook lost visitors in September, according to Nielsen/NetRatings, a Web-tracking service. The number of unique U.S. visitors at MySpace fell 4% to 47.2 million from 49.2 million in August, and the number of visitors to Facebook fell 12% to 7.8 million from 8.9 million.

Nielsen Traffic Data

Source: Nielsen/WSJ

In the article the companies themselves deny that there’s anything more than a seasonal pattern happening. But a MySpace executive quoted in the story “acknowledges that MySpace is ‘moving from a growth spurt into a phase of maturity.'”

Social networking (if that means anything anymore) is becoming a very crowded “space” and competitors will seek to chip away at MySpace and Facebook with features, tools and buzz. Over time, like fashion, MySpace and Facebook can’t help but become less “cool.”

The challenge for these sites is to move beyond novelty and create enough utility to cement longer-term usage.

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Related: iMedia reports on a real ad agency opening a virtual office (“Crayonville“) in Second Life to help real brands manage virtual campaigns. Got that?

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