Say it ain't so, MySpace?
TechCrunch has sources claiming that the actual revenue will come in closer to $900 million, and that executive defections and reshuffling continue at the company.
Coming up short by 10% may not seem like much in a softening economy, but it's worse than that. Because Google
This probably isn't surprising news. Google blamed its fourth-quarter miss two months ago, in part, on the difficulty in monetizing social networking. That came weeks after United Online
Let's face it: Most of the people logging hours on social networking sites usually have holes in their pockets. Despite their youthful ways and eventual earnings power, they're just not the ideal ad targets for high-paying sponsors. Dirt cheap display advertising campaigns to promote upcoming movies, shows, and CDs have some degree of branding appeal, but MySpace is an unlikely e-commerce hub for now.
When a social networking site tries to push the envelope -- like Facebook with its clever yet ultimately intrusive social ads -- the market has a fit.
Are social networking websites waning in popularity? No. Will the niche ever be effectively monetized they way it is with high-margin dedicated search engines? No. Should investors who bought into a giant News Corp. just for the sake of MySpace bail? No, but they may as well either start tempering their expectations or get to know the rest of the company a little better, because that is where the bread and butter can be found.
Microsoft has made the cut as an Inside Value stock pick. Time Warner is a Stock Advisor recommendation. So many newsletters, so little time? Don't worry. You can check them out for free for the next 30 days with trial offers.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz remembers when social networking really was a social network. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy.