What If Google Had Bought MySpace?

At the Web 2.0 event in San Francisco News Corp. digital chief (former AOL exec.) Jonathan Miller said, according to CNET:

“I think that what you see in the space more than anything else is if you don’t keep innovating and moving forward you get in trouble,” Miller said in his talk on Thursday morning. “You can’t stop, you have to keep going, and (MySpace) didn’t keep going, it kind of stopped.”

Facebook is the main explanation. Now the question is can the site “reinvent” itself to stablize and potentially grow again?

Turning away from that to a “parallel universe” question: what would have happened if Google had bought the social network?

In the July, 2006 in Wired Magazine Rupert Murdoch said:

“[Google] could have bought MySpace three months before we did for half the [$580 million] price. They thought, ‘It’s nothing special. We can do that.’”

Assuming that’s true would Google have been able to manage the service in a way that avoided its current situation? Or would Google have let it run on autopilot and arrived at the same place? It’s own social network Orkut is mostly a failure except in selected markets outside the US and even those are under pressure from Facebook.

What do you think?


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