UPDATE: MySpace says that it’s not shutting down its site in the Netherlands. The company is, however consolidating European operations to run out of London and Berlin. Full statement:
“As the rapid expansion of MySpace International continues, we recognise the need to constantly evolve our operational model to drive continued efficiency across our business. As a result of this, beginning January 2009 we will centralize operational support for MySpace Benelux by establishing a marketing and product creative task force of resources leveraging talent from other MySpace entities across Europe.”
Facebook’s secret for surpassing MySpace as the largest social network has been overseas growth – by Inside Facebook’s measure, 80% of Facebook’s growth in Q3 came internationally. But MySpace hasn’t been able to emulate the same growth.
Its most recent trouble: MySpace reportedly has to shut down its site in The Netherlands*, according to two Dutch news outlets. The company hasn’t been able to adequately compete with Dutch social network Hyves.
Plus, in China, where MySpace is running a joint venture with IDG-Accel, they’ve had to deal with the departure of their CEO and slow growth. (News Corp. (NWS) has taken a special interest in MySpace China’s success; Rupert Murdoch’s wife Wendi Deng helped launch the site.)
One difference between the two companies: MySpace puts a lot of deliberate thought and time in launching their international versions, often establishing joint ventures with local partners, or holding concerts or developer contests to spur interest in a new country. Facebook, meanwhile, flips a switch on a local language edition and that’s it — and it’s exploded overseas.