Following News Corps deal to buy Intermix, mainly to get access to its immensely popular MySpace social networking offering, some are beginning to wonder if being owned by Fox could kill what made MySpace special for many users. There is, not surprisingly, the political angle. There are plenty of people within MySpace who aren't happy with Rupert Murdoch's politics, and some of them are making some noise about it. That aspect is probably overhyped, as it's unlikely that most people care enough to make a real difference in the service. However, a much bigger concern is what News Corp ends up doing with MySpace in general over time as they decide they need to squeeze more money out of it. The number of cool online communities bought by larger companies... only to see the life squeezed out of them (or, more likely, left to whither away while other communities surpassed them) is pretty long (GeoCities and ICQ come to mind quickly). So, while MySpace has done an amazing job building up a huge community and getting people interested, they did so by being somewhat better at the whole social networking thing than Friendster -- who first popularized the space. It's not hard to see another offering come along and leapfrogging MySpace as well, and it's hard to see what MySpace will have to keep people there.
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