Facebook and MySpace are both social networking websites but each of the two websites has elaborate differences in their structure, policies and selling points. Mark Zuckerberg is responsible for the founding of Facebook with his first target population being Harvard students. Facebook later grew from a Harvard users’ restricted website into a global social networking website open to any person over thirteen years. On the other hand, MySpace is a website principally intended for the youth giving them a chance to connect to brands and bands and to convey their feelings. Users of MySpace are able to peruse profiles of other members, email and blog, and join groups on this particular website. MySpace also has music and videos accessible to users (Zelkowitz 32). In some cases, Facebook is preferred to MySpace as a social networking website and in other cases MySpace is the most preferred. This research paper seeks to determine which of the two websites the best social networking website is.

Statement

According to Kelsey Facebook has over 400 million users and within only 4 years of operation, Facebook had already garnered over 150 million active members (88). Though it was originally aimed at students, new findings have proved that Facebook is getting popular among non-students, of ages 30 and more, than it is popular among college students (Zelkowitz 39). Even more shocking is the fact that over 70 percent of Facebook users are outside the United States where it originated.  Contrastingly, a look at MySpace demographic reveals that most of the MySpace users are found in the United States. Gauging from this statistics, it is evident that Facebook as a domain name is more prevalent in many parts of the globe as compared to MySpace.

Facebook sponsorship is mainly realized by the use of advertisements. Facebook assures its customers to the ability to reach over 40 million active users through Facebook advertising. In this regard, Facebook uses a unique advertising approach whereby social actions are connected to advertisements to enhance their significance; this approach is said to create product demand among Facebook users. In Facebook, the customer or the user is allowed to come up with a text-based or image Ads (Empire 15). A user can also advertise his/her website by placing it in Facebook like a page or an event. Pay per click Ads are also provided for in the user’s currency. Advancement of the Ads and customers can also be trailed by the sponsor using real-time reporting so as to enable relevant modifications to be made on the Ads. In MySpace, pay per click Ads method is also provided for just like in Facebook but MySpace has enhanced features like that which allows sponsors to add their customers into their websites and profiles. Details such as gender, age, location, hobbies and likes of those who click on the Ads are also visible to the sponsor.

Most of the updates in Facebook are usually done by the users; unlike MySpace, Facebook’s content is mostly determined by the user and not the developers of the site hence making several updates to be realized in seconds. However, just like other top sites, Facebook is working on the probability of launching Facebook in multiple languages so as to satisfy the needs of its non-English customers. On the other hand, albeit MySpace has status updates just like Facebook, most of its updates are not done by its users.

Facebook is said to be one of the most well designed social networking websites (Spinellis and Gousios 139). Its simplicity and well organized tabs makes it easy for virtually anyone to operate. At every step the Facebook team has perfected the functions the user can perform and its minimized roles as compared to MySpace gives Facebook an upper hand in terms of simplicity. However, MySpace is more tailored to the customer’s needs on this platform since a user can choose to customize MySpace page; a user can choose appropriate page color, mode and style that best fits him or her.

Another important aspect in site design of social networking websites is privacy control. Facebook has a set of widespread smooth privacy controls and an elaborate Private Policy (Kelsey 509). The privacy controls have four levels including the search, profile, news feed and Wall and applications with each section having even more precise controls that can be positioned by the user. In the profile privacy situation, the user is permitted to establish who can view their basic information and contact information. Basic information in this case includes profile, personal information, tagged pictures and videos, education information and occupational information. At this scale the user can be able to limit the category of people who can access this vital information. In the search module, privacy settings allow friends to be able to find your profile on searching for your name; however, the user is still able to determine what in his/her profile is visible to friends.

The news and feed section allows the user to exercise control over actions within Facebook and social advertisements precisely. Here the user is able to choose the type of stories that should be published or never be published. The user is also notified that Facebook infrequently couples advertisements with pertinent social actions from a user’s allies to create social advertisements. These kinds of advertisements make adverts more relevant and customized to the user. However, these kinds of adverts respect privacy since the user is allowed to choose to appear in adverts of allies or not.

Facebook application confidentiality controls constitute a general idea of how applications associate with personal information. The first control is the user-chosen limit to the type of information that can be viewed by friends via applications that the user does not make use of. There is also an alternative of exempting one’s account from revealing information to friends via any Facebook application. The user is notified that authorization of an application allows access of other information apart from contact information by other parties. There is also an alternative that allows the user to choose whether or not other members can view their associations in other websites via Facebook connect. The user is also allowed to choose to stop posting of stories on his profile. A list of blocked applications and an explanation of how to block people are also provided to enable the user to block even specific friend requests.

Privacy control in MySpace is not as intricate as that in Facebook; the profile setup, for instance, comprise of a tab labeled Settings Privacy. Under this title, users are able to determine if an online icon should be linked to their profiles, if friends should view information such as birthdays, whether or not the email uploaded pictures should be shared, whether or not to obstruct users who are under eighteen years and whether the profile should be viewable to friends only or to all users over eighteen. Though MySpace does not authorize the settings tab as a privacy control, it permits the user to see the levels of spams he is ready to receive and to control interactions such as friends’ appeals, messages, comments, group summons and IM invitations. Correspondingly, in notifications, users may control what events create email alerts to them from MySpace from an assortment of actions including message comments, friends’ invitations, picture comments, group invitation responses, video subscriptions, forum responses and event requests. The user is also allowed to unsubscribe to MySpace newssheet from this page.

Zelkowitz claims that MySpace ID enables the user to discover that he may connect his MySpace account to intermediary services (40). In this platform, the user is able to choose the information to be viewed with the service in question and remove the intermediary services completely. Lastly, under the applications tab, users are able to establish whether or not to receive messages via applications. It is also possible to set privacy access extents for applications installed by allies; the user can choose to share only basic data or photos and can see the applications in use and the users he or she has blocked.

Ease of access of user information by other members in Facebook is reliant on privacy controls selected by the user (Zelkowitz 54). For instance, the news feed are viewable to authorized users after they logging in to Facebook. This module contains actions undertaken by those on their friends’ listing. In actual fact, some of the user’s personal information is displayed to their friends as news feed. However, the present system allows the user to choose what can be displayed on newsfeed including an option to removal of profile information. However, some applications may include information that is not allowable by news feed controls; in such cases, the user blocks access of such information by using application privacy controls. The Facebook search allows users to connect with other members of the same network that is denoted by basic grouping information such as school, geographical location and employment. This module only allows access of the most basic information by users in different network; comprehensive profile information is viewable to only members of the same network. In the public search option, non-members can search Facebook and allow some major search engines to manifest public listings. Users are however allowed to block their information from being accessed in public searches.  Facebook allows users to upload unlimited photos and tag members and non-members; however, non-members don’t access other details apart from the photo. 

In MySpace feeds are seen by friends only when a user selects an option of updating his friends. This option also allows the user to customize the type of information that should be relayed to friends. Internal search is done by email, name or IM but the user can limit information accessed by other members by making his profile confidential. On the other hand, public search is able to retrieve restricted profile information via the same method of indexing by use of search engines. Members are also allowed to tag photos and hence send links to the photos to profiles of members and emails of non-members.

Conclusion

Even though MySpace has a ore user-tailored sponsorship policy and more products to offer, its ethos hardly compare to Facebook’s standards. Facebook not only has a brilliant design and a more popular domain name, but it also operates with an elaborate privacy policy. Even though MySpace appears to be having less traffic compared to Facebook, the fact that it requires more detailed personal information and has less elaborate privacy control policies makes its users more vulnerable to invasion of privacy than Facebook which insists that users should share in the responsibility of monitoring operations in their accounts. FaceBook is therefore a better social networking website than MySpace.

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