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The MySpace Vs. Facebook Debate

May 13th, 2008 9:00am EDT
MySpace vs. FacebookTwo writers. Two different opinions. This week's topic? MySpace Vs. Facebook. Which networking website is better? Read and decide...

MySpace Will Find A Way To Piss You Off
Facebook Is Simply Better
Anthony Liccardello
By Anthony Liccardello
Starpulse contributing writer

I have had this argument with more than a few people, and every time it comes to the same conclusion: Facebook is better than MySpace. No matter how many times you read those words, the fact remains the same. Facebook is better than MySpace. By the end of this article, you will agree with me, even if you are skeptical. Trust me on this.

Facebook started out in 2004 as a way for college kids to keep in touch with one another. What started out as a program exclusively for the Ivy League eventually gave way to all colleges nationwide. Eventually, Facebook became available to high school students. Then in late 2006, Facebook opened itself to anyone with a valid email address. But for nearly half of its existence, you had to be part of a school to sign up for an account. There are approximately 69 million active accounts world wide.
Facebook
Now, I am not denying the popularity of MySpace. With nearly 110 million registered accounts it is far more popular than Facebook. It is the largest social networking site on the internet. According to statistics, nearly 230,000 new accounts are created each day. That is quite an alarming number. This, however, does not mean that there are 110 million people registered. Many users have multiple accounts. Many accounts include promotions for bands, movies, or comedians. I am on my third, with the previous two being taken over by spam, yet still active on the network because I no longer remember the email address associated with the account.

A study done two years ago on nearly 400 random accounts revealed that 50% were abandoned less than a month after being created. Only 43% of the accounts picked had any activity within the last 30 days. At the time of this study, there were approximately 100 million accounts. That would equate to 43 million registered accounts that were still active, 57 million less than the reported number.

There are thousands of accounts that feature movie characters like Maverick (Top Gun), and Peter Venkman (Ghostbusters) that are not actual people. Or what about the thosands and thousands of stupid fake webcam girls that beg you to be their friend? Before I made my profile private and added features to make adding friends more complex, I would get 5-10 adds every day from "Julie" or "Britney," often the same picture, with a request to come and play with them at their private site. Or what about the countless number of stupid and annoying bands that try to add you as a friend? Pathetic. The question on how many 'real' members exist on MySpace has never been answered.

So, what about social networking, the reason why people sign up for Facebook and Myspace in the first place? What site lets you 'network' in the most effective and efficient manner?

The average layout on MySpace looks awful when compared to Facebook. The neat and trim design that every member on Facebook has is easy to navigate and read, whereas MySpace is just poorly designed with ugly colors. The adding of friends featuers on Facebook is for actual friends you know or people that may be in the same field, company, industry, or school as you. With MySpace, it often is a contest to see who has the most friends, which is pretty pointless.

The news feeds on Facebook are far superior than anything MySpace has to offer in keeping tabs with all your friends. With MySpace you actually have to click on each profile to see what is new, unless you have a friend selected in your 'top friend' section. Also, Facebook offers an additional news feed that updates who accepted your requests or personal messages. Myspace has nothing like this.

While Facebook is organized by schools, which makes it easy to contact other classmates, MySpace is geared towards the teenage demographic and only offers a search engine for this. The search engine in MySpace is garbage and really offers little help to find what you are looking for.

MySpace also has NO customer support. So if you have any issues, no one can help you. They have a generic help page with 74 FAQs. Some questions are as brilliant as "Is MySpace Free?" or "What is a copyright?" It is as if the web admins were to lazy to post useful FAQs like "Why do I get so many errors?" and "How can virus's post spam bulletins using my account?"

Basically, if you don't know what you are doing, you are screwed. For a social networking site that makes an ungodly amount of money, why is there no tech support? That is absolutely inexecusable for a site that manages this amount of traffic. Tom, put down the margarita, get off your bed made of hundred dollar bills, and create a tech support line. We all have received that awesome error message that says, "This error has been forwarded to MySpace's technical group". What it should say is, "F--- you, we don't give a s---." The "Contact MySpace" page is useless. For this article I sent 5 questions from 5 different email addresses. I received 4 automated responses guiding me back to the FAQ page. One email went completely ignored.
MySpace error message
Facebook's help section has over 21 tabs that lead to hundreds of pages of guidelines to troubleshoot any issues or problems you may have. They have a tab specifically for suggestions and comments, and their troubleshooting guide has around 50 different topics, which each have numerous sub-topics. No matter what issue you may have with Facebook, if any, you will be able to find an answer with its massive help section. If somehow you still have an issue, you can contact web administrators via email. All 5 of my emails were replied to within 48 hours, and answered each of my questions.

What about the millions of improperly formatted lines of code that cause accessibility issues? The average MySpace user has little to no experience writing in HTML, and that causes massive amounts of problems for anyone using Myspace. These improperly constructed 'pages' freeze web browsers, eat bandwidth, and cause shutdown errors millions of times every day. Bandwidth can get eaten up from users songs, videos, pictures and graphics that they have displayed on their page. Since MySpace allows anyone to use their site, almost every page has some sort of error that conflicts with web browsers. It doesn't matter if you use Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox, MySpace will find a way to piss you off.

The magazine PC World named MySpace the #1 worst website ever in a list of the 25 worst websites of all-time. The ever increasing members of MySpace have led to an increase in bandwidth, which can slow users' computers down at an almost exponential level. At peak hours, many of the MySpace servers just crash, which can lead to awesome messages like "This error has been forwarded to MySpace's technical group." That group does not exist and is a cruel joke to many users, including myself.

Facebook does not have problems like this because it does not allow its users the freedom that MySpace does. With Facebook, you cannot write in HTML or CSS. This prevents the MASSIVE amounts of errors that happen when using MySpace. You still can comment on people's pages or upload photos and videos, you just cannot customize your page with garbage that loves to shut your internet browsers down and make computers freeze.

Instead of designing your own page, Facebook is filled with features that Myspace has slowly started to copy. Facebook does let you upload an unlimited amount of photos and is easily the site's most popular feature. There is also the ability to 'tag' people in the photo, which identifies each person, and is automatically placed in that persons picture folder. The news feed is a great feature that lets you know what your friends are up to.

For example if they edit their profile, set a high score in a game, or upload pictures, it will be stated in the news feed. The feature is a great way to keep tabs on what your friends are doing. You also can play games like chess with others users, send virtual gifts, share vidoes, use Facebook Instant Messenger, and upload blogs. Facebook also has their own marketplace for buying and selling items, much like a Craigslist. In mid 2007, careerbuilders introduced a concept that let job recruiters search through profiles to potential job seekers, since Facebook was more appealing to job seekers and recruiters than MySpace because of its professional layout.

If the massive amount of browser problems that MySpace can cause isn't enough to worry about, spyware and spam can be added to that list. Users have been tricked into inputting emails and passwords into fake login screens, which can then spam an exponential amount of people. Fake bulletins are to this day a common problem amongst users. These bulletins spam everything from adult websites to random advertisements. They can steal your passwords and even spam the email address that the account is registerd too.

People should ask, where is the security? Less than 4 months ago, over a half of a million private MySpace user pics were uploaded from MySpace using a bug published on YouTube that MySpace users had access to. These pictures were put on piratebay, a torrent-site for download.

There are numerous issues with security that have not been addressed. And what about MySpace's annoying advertisements? The home page is constantly changing from movie theme to tv show theme, where trailers load up immediately at the log in page slowing everything down. Annoying adds that include, "Click here for your free xbox 360," or those stupid smiley faces will plague many people's experience.

MySpace makes their money by getting everyone and anyone to advertise on their site, and they obviously aren't afraid to shove it down our faces. It figures that MySpace is owned by the same asshats who run Fox News. If I see one more 'click the middle character' question or 'which one is Eminem' I am going to lose my mind. Users deserve better than this.

Member's profiles on Facebook are only accessible if you are there friend. You cannot browse people's profiles like you can with MySpace. So girls, you can breathe easier, because random creepy guys won't nearly bother you nearly as much with Facebook. While MySpace
does let you set your profile to "private," only an estimated 23 percent of users enable this feature, which makes nearly 3/4 available to everyone that has access to the internet.

Facebook signed a deal with Microsoft, which gives Facebook users only Microsoft approved ads. Imagine using MySpace with 98 percent less ads because that is what Facebook is like. There are no bulletin spams or viruses that hack your passwords. The friends that try and add you are real people, not characters from movies or stupidly annoying bands that you would never listen to in the first place. There have been a few complaints regarding Facebook's inability to delete profiles, but that was changed earlier in the year, allowing anyone who wishes to do so to completely remove their profile from the website.

What about online predators? It took MySpace over 4 years after its launch to delete 30,000 profiles that were registered sex offenders. While that is a step in the right direction, the ability to create a "new identity" is a problem that MySpace needs to address. They have taken steps to block certain IP addresses, but there are still stories in the news that paint a darker picture. Facebook also had a scare when a study was done where 70,000 profiles were downloaded with malicious script. However, the downloading was done as a research project and to shed light on ways to improve Facebook's security. This study was conducted 3 years ago.

Facebook has beefed up their security by adding more than 40 safeguards that will protect all members from sexual predators and cyber-bullies. They also have agreed to keep tobacco and alcohol ads from users not of age, remove all comments or images that are deemed inappropriate, warn young users if they are danger of sending info to an adult, and review members profiles when an age change is made to ensure a valid identity.

In the end, Facebook is far easier to navigate, is far more user friendly with easier interface, has a superior search engine and default page setup, and is far more secure. No annoying viruses, spam, or ads. Internet browsers don't shut down, and computers don't suddenly freeze. Facebook is growing at a far more faster rate, and it has opened its API (application program interface) to basically allow any developer to write widgets within Facebook. From games, trivia, quizzes, to a unique Trip Advisor where it keeps track of everywhere you've been in the world, the freedom of this is nearly limitless. Facebook is simply better.

***

The Great Thing About MySpace Is Meeting People
Facebook Has Annoying Requests, Boring Layouts
Angie Rentmeester
By Angie Rentmeester
Starpulse contributing writer

Walk into any college or high school campus and you'll see many of the students logged onto MySpace or Facebook - two Internet "friend" sites. I've even seen people logged in on both at the same time (and I've been guilty of this as well).

Beneath the mounds of press MySpace has received - both positive and negative - it's easy to lose sight of what the popular networking site has to offer that may be personally beneficial. When used properly, MySpace can be a useful tool for social interaction, event planning, professional networking and self-promotion.

MySpaceMySpace is an all-inclusive internet community that allows people to blog, meet other people, network and post their own music and videos for everyone to check out. Once you've set up your profile, it's easy to get sucked in.

There are many things that MySpace users can do. Having a bad day and need to vent? Then blog about it. Get your feelings off your chest via your blog. You can set it to public or private, in case you want to vent but you don't want other people to read your thoughts.

Are you a photographer or camera nut? You can post hundreds of photos of yourself, friends or events and share them with all your friends. Keep in mind, if you don't want everyone to see them, change your privacy settings so only people on your friends list can see them. You'll thank me later.

If you're one of those aspiring singers on YouTube, you can post your videos onto your MySpace page. Or, if you have a favorite video, post it on your page. Same goes for music. You just need to create a music page. If you're a musician take advantage of MySpace and post your music for everyone to hear. You can even sell your music on the site.

The great thing about MySpace is meeting people. You're able to search for friends you haven't talked to and want to get back in touch with. If you want to meet new people, just complete a search for who you would like to meet.

I hear Facebook users all the time complain that the layout designs on MySpace ugly and they slow down their web browsing. While I agree that some of the layouts are lame and can take forever to load, it's not the site's fault. It's the users. Send a complaint to the user with the obnoxious layout. I'd take a colorful layout over the boring layout that Facebook has. As far as MySpace slowing down my computer, I have yet to have that happen to me.

You need to remember what the point of MySpace is: networking. You design your layout to fit your personality. Bands and artists create a page to put pictures, videos and music on it. These are the main reasons why MySpace can make your Internet go a little slow.

Both MySpace and Facebook allow you to keep up with what your friends are doing, but Facebook takes it a little too literally. Do we really need to know that Rom and Jessica are now friends or that Jenny keeps going from "in a relationship" to "it's complicated" and back to "in a relationship?" No. MySpace will tell you when someone accepted your friend request, when you have a new message, when someone left you a comment and when they left a photo comment. That's all you really need to know.

One big thing that annoys me with Facebook is when people keep sending those annoying requests. I don't care if someone out there likes me, and I don't need fake Tequila shots. About everyday I have at least 10 requests all asking me to take some stupid quiz and have a beer or asking me if I want to help slay the vampires. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that MySpace doesn't follow in Facebook's footsteps with these requests.

Facebook users crack me up when they say how they hate getting a lot of "friend request" from bands and people they don't eve know. Not to mention that anyone and everyone can see your MySpace profile. There is a way to stop that, and it'll only take you two seconds. All you have to do is set your profile on private so that in order for someone to do a friend request they would need to know your last name or your e-mail address. It's really that simple.

Although there are many great things about MySpace and Facebook, no social network site is 100 percent safe from predators or just really creepy people. You should be aware of some of the pitfalls that could quickly turn your experience into a negative one.

Since Facebook allows anyone with an e-mail address to sign up, this goes for that site as well. If you don't know the person, don't add them...on either site.

MySpace does not reveal the identities of its users, so they might not always be who they say they are. There are many stalkers and predators looking for their next victim. It is suggested that when making your profile, don't share every bit of information about yourself - your name, number, address, etc. To keep yourself safe use your privacy options and only allow people on your friends list to see your profile.

Employers are also using MySpace when they want to check on an applicant who they may want to hire. MySpace is free for anyone to see, and if you post "interesting" pictures of yourself that don't quite show you in a great light, an employer might pass on you because of that. If you are currently employed, do not post negative or vulgar comments about your employer or co-workers, it could cost you your job. Keep in mind what you post could come back to haunt you.

It's pretty dead even with which site is more popular and which one people prefer. But which is better for you? Interested in checking out new artists and bands, blogging and staying in touch with your friends, than MySpace would be perfect. The choice is yours. Keep one thing in mind, we're all watching...literally...Theresa is now friends with John, Ryan updated his photo album and Jamie has 36 friends.

So what do you like better: MySpace or Facebook? Make a comment!