Monday, January 29, 2007

Gazing into the MySpace crystal ball

posted by Andy Leff
Hot off the social network presses -- MySpace is planning to double the number of countries it serves by the end of 2007, but as of yet, is not naming names.

My prediction for one of those undisclosed markets: South Korea. Wouldn't surprise me in the least if MySpace launches there, considering it's essentially the tech hub for Asia, with the highest broadband penetration in the world.

Now enter the competition. There's already an active, popular South Korean social networking site called Cyworld. (Here's the U.S. version, for those of you who don't have time to brush up on your Hangugeo.)

Think Second Life, but bigger. Plus, Cyworld makes a ton of money from advertising, hosting corporate-sponsored pages, and selling backgrounds, charms, graphics, and music for individual sites.

Cool, right? Well, this is even cooler ... Cyworld attracts approximately 90 percent of people ages 16 to 28 in South Korea. And what U.S. company wouldn't kill for such broad access to that coveted demographic?

Also, wouldn't surprise me if MySpace starts to position itself to take a whack at Google in 2007 by buying up companies and making itself a huge portal. It's already got the traffic -- now it just needs the real estate. (Hmm. Maybe it can get some in Cyworld ...)

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