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Rupert Murdoch warns about Facebook, sees echo of ‘crappy’ Myspace

Today marks the one-year anniversary of Facebook’s initial public offering, a milestone that often prompts reflection and introspection.

And in the case of Rupert Murdoch, the occasion provided an opportunity for a nanny-nanny-nah-nah tweet:

“Look out Facebook! Hours spent participating per member dropping seriously. First really bad sign as seen by crappy MySpace years ago,” Murdoch wrote on his Twitter account late Thursday night.

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Of course, Murdoch was famously burned after jumping in and snatching Myspace for $580 million in 2005, thwarting competing media company Viacom, which was mounting a bid. Viacom’s failure to land Myspace led to the firing of CEO Tom Freston and generated much celebration in the halls of Murdoch’s News Corp.

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But before long, News Corp. discovered that Myspace was an Internet fad, replaced in the market by the college kids who created Facebook with a superior user experience.

News Corp. sold Myspace for $35 million two years ago.

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At the time, the Los Angeles Times wrote that Myspace’s “dramatic fall is both a consequence of the fickle nature of today’s Internet generation as it is a tale of mismanagement, missed opportunities and miscalculations. Myspace’s decline -- hastened by its failure to match the innovations of its chief rival, Facebook, speaks to what can happen when a mainstream media company seeks to capture technological lightning in a bottle.”

The metric that Murdoch alluded to in his tweet was “hours spent participating” by members of Facebook. Analysts have been concerned that Facebook’s members aren’t spending nearly as much time on the site as they did a year ago.

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