Don’t look now, but globally, social network Facebook suddenly has twice as much traffic as its News Corp-owned rival MySpace (NWS). Here’s the chart from ComScore:
Once the market leader by a large margin, these numbers are embarrassing for MySpace. Still, the social network does have one bullet left to fire: MySpace does a much better job of actually making money off its traffic than Facebook does.
In statement, MySpace hit this point:
We are laser focused on building a sustainable global business which we measure by profits and revenue–not just eyeballs. In a tough economic climate, our international revenue is up 30 per cent year over year and we continue to focus on those markets with the strong monetization opportunities.
Additionally, MySpace continues to dominate the U.S. market–where the bulk of online advertising revenues reside–both in terms of monetization and user engagement with more than 76 million unique users and a 40 per cent spike in engagement year over year.
While we can’t blame MySpace PR for making it (good spin!), it’s not really a fair comparison.
Facebook still has only a handful of direct ad sales people on its staff and even they don’t press ad agencies very hard for their business, our Madison avenue sources tell us. By contrast, MySpace has hundreds of ad sales people working in New York and from its California-based headquarters.
The difference between the companies and their revenues isn’t talent, innovation or desire — it’s ownership.
Let’s try a baseball analogy?
Facebook has venture backers hoping for a big exit someday; they are waiting for a revenue model that will hit a home run — something akin to what Google found in search marketing. MySpace — no larger a startup, but a business that needs to produce for its corporate parent — has to collect as many singles as it can.