MySpace, My Teens, and MyYearbook

We have not invested in a teen oriented social networking business. Clearly a missed opportunity with the MySpace and Facebook phenomenons staring us in the face. Here are the stats on these two juggernauts from May’s Media Metrix:

My Space    51mm unique visitors (#7 in the US)        29.4bn page views (#2 in the US)

Facebook    14mm unique visitors (#49 in the US)      6.5bn page views (#7 in the US)

That’s mindblowing to be honest.  Two of the top ten page view generators in the US were built in the past two years on the backs of teen/youth social networking.

We were not offered the opportunity to invest in either company so they won’t make our "anti portfolio", but my hat is off to the VCs who did invest in these two companies. Very well done.

So the question is what to do now? I can’t help but watch my two teenagers as I think about this sector. Both are active page view generators on MySpace and my older daughter is doing her part generating page views at Facebook’s high school service as well.

These kids are fickle. My older daughter has mostly moved her activity to Facebook because she likes the affiliation with her school and the other schools in the city where she knows kids. She thinks it better looking (and so does Ben Barren).

So I expect to see churn in this market. But it certainly doesn’t appear to be hurting MySpace or Facebook right now. The question is can a new entrant capture significant share, taking advantage of that churn. And can they keep it?

Take MyYearbook, which is trying to compete with the high school part of Facebook. According to Media Metrix, MyYearbook had 3mm unique visitors and did 69mm page views in May.

Is that "traction" to use an overused word?  Or is that noise? The UVs represent almost 25% of Facebook’s UVs, so it’s something to notice. But the number of PVs is only 1% of Facebook’s.

So I am not sure. What do you all think? I’d be particularly interested to know how many high school profiles Facebook has compared to MyYearbook or anyone else in the high school social networking sector.

My sense is this space is too fickle for us, but it’s fascinating to me nonetheless.

#VC & Technology