Friday, May 12

au.myspace launches, needs customer care, and bluepulse

Originally uploaded by bigyahu.
Looks like a softly-softly launch, since it hasn't been announced on the news wires that I could find, but when I went to login to myspace today I got this cute message letting me know that was now live.

The world's biggest online youth community coming to Australia? You'd think that'd be bigger news than that. But maybe the softly-softly approach means some of the pieces are not yet in place. There's local banner ads already, but I couldn't find any obvious localised content.

Wow, big call to make: replicate the famously unstable myspace platform in a little market like Australia, with all the additional infrastructure, customer care and anti-abuse issues that come with a heaving, sweaty mass of yoof in one online room. And fracture one large online community of Aussies and Americans into two smaller, separate online communities? Does that make sense? Time will tell.

One important consideration for News Interactive will be its mobile strategy. In the US, MySpace has chosen to deliver mobile services via Cingular and Yahoo!. The Cingular offering seems very underwhelming - simple SMS notifications that require you to login from your PC to check what's changed.

The Yahoo! offering is richer, but hitches the MySpace wagon to the success/failure of Yahoo!'s mobile strategy - not easy to unhitch later on if Yahoo! turns out not to be the best partner.

Here in Australia, the mobile space is very different - many more mobile content consumers, really only two carriers that make sense to partner with, and Yahoo! possibly not delivering the same brand, reach and youth mobile usage it does in the US.

Smarter - much smarter - would be for News Interactive to use something like bluepulse to deliver a mobile solution that's richer and more network-independent than a Cingular deal. No need to share revenue with a greedy carrier, either.

And where News Interactive's online audience is not that far behind's (if you look just at content sites not search, Y! Mail and Y! Messenger), News would be smarter to leverage its offline newspaper and magazine mastheads to drive an independent mobile offering for

Come on Tom, try bluepulse!

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