After weeks of speculations and wrangling, News Corporation has sold its ailing social networking site MySpace to online advertising firm Specific Media.

Back in 2005 Rupert Murdochs News Corp paid $580 million for Myspace, but users and advertisers left the site for the ever increasingly popular Twitter and Facebook.

Unconfirmed reports claim that the site has been sold for only $35 million, after the company admitted that the losses at MySpace were "unsustainable" - Although News Corp does not publish specific results for MySpace in its accounts, the "other" segment, which includes the social network, reported a second quarter operating loss of $156m - $31m worse than a year earlier.

Pop star and actor Justin Timberlake will take a stake in the business, Specific Media said, he will play "a major role in developing the creative direction and strategy for the company moving forward," the company confirmed. Specific Media was founded in 1999 by three brothers - Tim, Chris and Russell Vanderhook - and is based in Irvine, California.

According to tracking firm comScore, MySpace had 21.8 million unique monthly US visitors in August 2005 compared with Facebook's 8.3 million.

In May of this year Facebook's monthly US visitors had risen to 157.2 compared with MySpace's 34.9 million, comScore said. Facebook has nearly 700 million members worldwide.

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