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Myspace Sold at Huge Loss, Justin Timberlake Now Part Owner

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Six years ago, Myspace seemed like a great investment.  It was purchased by News Corporation for $580 million.  But this week, the struggling social media site was sold to advertising network Specific Media, for roughly $35 million.

Who’s the new owner? 

During sale negotiations, Specific Media entered into talks with pop star Justin Timberlake to partner with the group, both financially and creatively.  Timberlake’s financial stake is unknown, but his manager, Johnny Wright told the Los Angeles Times, “This is not a vanity ownership. He wants to make it relevant in a big way.”

The New York Times reports that in 2005, MySpace was the world’s fastest-growing social network, with 20 million unique visitors each month in the United States. That figure soon soared to 70 million, but the network could not keep pace with Facebook, which overtook MySpace two years ago.

In the movie “The Social Network” Justin Timberlake portrayed (Napster creator) Sean Paker, as a friend who helped Mark Zuckerberg obtain financing to launch Facebook.  It’s ironic that Timberlake, whose career in music, TV, and movies, has benefited greatly from social networking, now owns a piece of Myspace.

So can Timberlake reinvent Myspace?  Is there room for two successful social networking sites, and will Timberlake, with his enormous star power and creative team, be able to steal a piece of the pie from Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook?

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