Why MySpace Isn’t MY Space!

By | January 14, 2007

Edition #107 – 1/14/2007


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In case you hadn’t noticed, the MySpace craze is getting a little ridiculous. Even all the internet marketing gurus have MySpace pages these days.

I don’t want to be overly critical, because I also have plenty of friends and family on MySpace, but give me a break!

I see these big time marketers on there acting like it’s a high school popularity contest. Who can get the most friends? Oh, oh… can I puhleeze be on your top 8 list?


First I’ll tell you what I keep telling my sisters-in-law… It’s not really YOUR space! It belongs to MySpace, Inc., and they can do anything they want with it.

They can even start charging you for it if they want. Their TOS states,

“Fees. You acknowledge that MySpace.com reserves the right to charge for the MySpace Services and to change its fees from time to time in its discretion.”

And of course, they can and will display sleazy dating ads to your friends and family who visit your profile. Don’t believe me? Here’s an ad they displayed to me just today. I went to login (I keep an account just so I can look around the site, but I don’t have a profile), and here’s what they showed me on the login page:

MySpace Ad

The next time I went to login, they showed me this:

MySpace Ad 2

The next time I went to login, they showed me an animated banner of a girl lifting up her dress, which I’m not gonna show here!!

I don’t mean to offend anyone by posting those ads, but I think it’s important for people to know how MySpace operates. And I also scaled it down so as not to overstate the obvious; bear in mind that the original ads were TWICE as big (4X as much screen area) as the screenshot above, and they display similarly themed banner ads at the top of each member’s profile pages.

Maybe they’re targeting me with those ads demographically, but even that’s sleazy because the ONLY information in my profile is that I’m a MARRIED male!

I’m not really trying to start a discussion about morality (those of us with morals can easily draw our own conclusions by now), but it’s more to point out that MySpace is really THEIR Space, and they can do anything THEY want with it.

As I’ve pointed out to friends and family, it’s better to set up your own website on your own domain, because then you have a piece of virtual real estate that you really do own.

Unfortunately, few have taken my advice, because the peer-pressure of MySpace is just too strong. After all, EVERYONE has a MySpace page!

I’ll admit, it has proven to be an ideal platform for true “social networking”. It’s a place where members can express themselves, connect with friends, and meet new people…all on the web. In fact, it’s become so popular that by some counts it’s getting twice as much web traffic as Google!

Okay, so with that ridiculously huge amount of traffic, there must be some way to monetize it and capture a piece of the MySpace pie…right?

Well, not exactly. At least not for those of us who try to play by the rules.

MySpace has set up their rules specifically so that you can’t get a piece of the pie. From their TOS…

Non-commercial Use by Members. The MySpace Services are for the personal use of Members only and may not be used in connection with any commercial endeavors except those that are specifically endorsed or approved by MySpace.com. …//… Commercial advertisements, affiliate links, and other forms of solicitation may be removed from Member profiles without notice and may result in termination of Membership privileges. Appropriate legal action will be taken for any illegal or unauthorized use of the MySpace Services.

In case you missed it, ANY advertisements or solicitation may result in termination of your account.

The terms of service also outlines a list of specific items that are specifically prohibited from MySpace. The TOS states that violators of these items will be terminated from MySpace. This list includes…

“Content that…provides any telephone numbers, street addresses, last names, URLs or email addresses”


No last names. Hmmm… I can think of a few marketing gurus violating that one. No URL’s! Hmmm… Well that kind of makes it hard to send any web traffic anywhere don’t you think?

Additionally, there is a list of activities deemed “illegal” and prohibited by MySpace. The TOS states they may take legal action and/or report to the authorities violators of these items which include…

“advertising to, or solicitation of, any Member to buy or sell any products or services through the MySpace Services.”

Okay, so now maybe you’re thinking… No problem; since I can’t sell anything directly on MySpace, I’ll just contact them and sell them something outside of MySpace.

Sorry, as MySpace TOS states…

“It is also a violation of these rules to use any information obtained from the MySpace Services in order to contact, advertise to, solicit, or sell to any Member without their prior explicit consent.”

Close examination of the TOS could possibly lead you to believe that they are leaving the door open for building an opt-in list, but that’s a very fine line and I think you would cross it the moment you intend to profit from any list you build.

For one thing, the TOS expressly prohibits collecting any personal information for commercial purposes, and secondly it prohibits collecting ANY personal information from anyone under the age of 18.

Oooooh. That’s a slippery slope my friends. Do you suppose there are any MySpace users under the age of 18? I think you need to realize that if you’re building a list on MySpace that you ARE going to be collecting information of underage people, and your use of such a youth-oriented website to conduct your campaign would make it pretty hard to claim to be ignorant of the matter.

People tend to freak out about the privacy of kids, and that’s just another reason I’d steer clear of MySpace for business purposes.

How about taking a more passive approach, like simply displaying some ads on your profile instead of trying to sell something or build a list? Once again, MySpace is clear on the issue:

displaying an advertisement on your profile, or accepting payment or anything of value from a third person in exchange for your performing any commercial activity on or through the MySpace Services on behalf of that person, such as placing commercial content on your profile, posting blogs or bulletins with a commercial purpose, selecting a profile with a commercial purpose as one of your “Top 8” friends, or sending private messages with a commercial purpose

As you can see, MySpace is so serious about it, that YOUR account could be deleted if one of your top 8 friends is using their account for commercial purposes.

Alright, so what about the MySpace free classified ads? Those are made for advertising, right?

Well yes and no. If you’ve got something to sell, then it could be a good place to place a free ad. But when it comes to advertising internet opportunities, MySpace has made it clear that it’s simply out of the question. The ad submission page states in bold red font:

If you post about internet money making opportunities (i.e. get paid to read email, win a Free iPod, etc.) your account WILL BE DELETED.

It’s unfortunate that people like me (who teach legitimate ways of making money online) would be lumped in with the scam/spams, but that’s the line that MySpace has drawn. It’s especially ironic since they display plenty of that cr@p (like banners disguised as Windows, and spamvertisements like “you’ve won a free laptop!”). But again, it’s all about THEIR space, not yours 😉

Lastly, many of the new breed of MySpace marketers will say, “who cares about all those rules?” After all, we can just keep creating new accounts, and doing it all over again.

Once again, MySpace doesn’t allow it. One of the biggest disqualifiers of the mass-account creators is this restriction from the TOS:

“By using the MySpace Services, you represent and warrant that (a) all registration information you submit is truthful and accurate”

And then there are those who will still say…”Ah, who cares. With this new software I can create accounts faster than they can delete them…”

Again the TOS clearly prohibits:

“any automated use of the system, such as using scripts to add friends or send comments or messages”

And that’s under the list of “illegal” activities, punishable by legal action. So just realize that if you’re playing that game, it could catch up to you eventually.

Okay, well that’s enough ranting for now. I just wanted to take a few moments to let you know how I feel about it, because I’ve seen an influx of MySpace-related products lately. It seems some people have big plans for making big money on MySpace.

In fact, hearing about all these people supposedly making money on MySpace is what caused me to research the issue more in-depth. My wife actually told me that she was interested in making some extra money on MySpace, and asked if I would show her how others are doing it.

Unfortunately, as I actually dug into HOW others are doing it, I discovered that it wasn’t something I would recommend to my wife. And if I wouldn’t recommend it to my wife, I wouldn’t recommend it to you either.

Now you know where I stand, and you understand why you probably won’t see any MySpace-related product reviews from me.

As always, you can leave your comments here in the blog.

Have a great day!

118 thoughts on “Why MySpace Isn’t MY Space!

  1. Cliff

    Eric, I really appreciate the great information that you provide week in and week out for us. Your stance on this is spot on and I applaud you for the courage to stand up and say what you think. Wouldn’t it be nice if some enterprising internet marketers came up with a great business networking site for just the Internet Marketing Community. With over a million of us, there is definitely enough interest to warrant such a site.

    What do you think about that idea?

    You know, a Zone where we could get together, form the networks and relationships necessary for our ongoing success as Internet Marketers.

    Wouldn’t that be great?

    Well, I guess we will just have to wait for our own space….or maybe not. Maybe February will bring to us just such a space…just for us. What a great New Year’s gift that would be. Keep your eyes open and time will tell.

    Have a great day!


  2. Ruth Shultz

    As always Eric my friend you are right on the money. I appreciate your research. I had come to the same deduction about this subject. There are social networking places for business such as BizFriendz that is legal and a much better place to be able to show ones wares.
    Thanks again.

  3. Franck S

    I never had time to open a myspace account although I wanted to do it! But with what I’ve just read, I may forget it for ever.

    You are right, it seems that almost everyone and his dog is at my space trying to get adsense traffic…

    P.S: Thank you for letting us know for the pictures. I scrolled down without looking. It would be better if you didn’t post it ever!

  4. Donna H

    I must also be behind the times, I do not have a Myspace either. I get emails for singles all the time, in fact I just changed my vtc.net email because of the 24,000 emails of stuff I did not ask for in the last 3 months and that does not count the ones I did not get because I did not check my mail for a few days and received a postal mail overload warning.
    I was receiving emails I would post anywhere. I do not know how they got my email address.
    I love your Erics tips even though I see some do not! It is a free country still, and free speech is still legal.

    I have been busy putting my new web site together http://www.funnyyardsale.com to open this coming week. Haven’t had as much time for reading, need to catch up.

    When I am finished I want to become affiliated with a few web sites to promote, to bring extra money.

    I am going to start a http://www.coughpotatomoney.com to put my affiliations on as well.

    If you are interested email me at coughpotatomoney@yahoo.com

    Still working on the theme though. Have any ideas, I would like to hear them.

  5. Edward

    I don’t use Myspace but I guess only people living in the USA with seizable assets should be concerned about these ridiculous Myspace TOS…do you really think Myspace is going to chase TOS violators in foreign courts or they can do anything else besides deleting accounts to international members?

  6. Charles Harris

    I too look forward to receiving your “Eric’s Tips”. I like your honesty and your no holds bared assessment of these off the wall programs.

  7. Suzanna

    Concerning the my space, I began recieveing Numerous emails about a year ago from Guru’s telling me what a great place my space was for marketing. Emails containing, “Don’t miss this Great marketing opportunity”! What opportunity, most of the kids are in their early and mid-teens. I too have an account just to snoop around, mostly to see what kids are allowed to post. It is unbelievable what is on some of their site. Showing drug use, drunken parties and pictures with weapons. I personally am appalled. It is no wonder that it is a pedifiles paradise. Telephone numbers and addresses are shown right there, if the kids do not know how to privacy protect some of that information. I blatently refuse to be a part of that site. I will continue to market in an honest and moral way. Always I wish the best to You, Eric and your family! Cheers and God Bless

  8. Darryn Summers

    I too have signed up to MySpace, but was shocked by some of the “members” profiles. I really don’t think “porn stars” should be allowed a space on what is meant to be a community site. Fair enough things like that are in every community, but they are generally kept behind closed doors, so the community as a whole is protected. MySpace fails to do that……

    My site opened 2 days ago 🙂

  9. Bill

    Eric, thanks for having ethics and being one of the honest ones out there. I too have been getting hit with ads promoting marketing on My Space. Upon checking it out I had some serious questions. Thanks!!

  10. Ross Goldberg

    The information here is well known by those that use Myspace to market products and affiliate links. The bottom line is that Myspace doesn’t enforce most of their own rules. I’m NOT recommending you create 10 thousand profiles and spam all of the members of Myspace, but if done properly marketing YOURSELF on Myspace can be great.

    Myspace is a great site for branding, if you want to be honest about your business. I know of a course that shows you how to become a celebrity on myspace (not spam every member). Check out http://www.myspacemastership.com (non-affiliate link). It’s helpful with giving a better understanding of the RIGHT way to use Myspace.

  11. Mike

    I have a myspace.com/mikesfreetraffic site which is used for advertising my websites and opportunities and I love it as many people have requested further information and 5 people have signed-up to my opportunities also the messaging system is excellent quick and direct

    I have had solicitations from singles but this is all taken in fun and regardless of this fact it is another contact.

    I feel that this and directmatches are excellent prospecting sites

    Just thought i would redress the balance of this thread

  12. Gloria Rubin

    Hi, Eric:

    I found your website while I was in the PushButtonPublishing Forum today (8/12/07). I read most of the replies to your blog about MySpace, and noticed the accolades most of the people gave you. I’m signing up for your newsletter right now!

    Gloria Rubin
    My name in PBPublishing Forum: glomur

    P.S.: I’m brand new to IM, and am very glad I signed up for PBP (a few days ago).

  13. Elena

    okay, i didn’t read all of your opinions on myspace,
    but I do agree on how the provocative ads on myspace, and spam are comepletly annoying.
    I feel that myspace can be a very good thing .
    Meeting new people, and catching up with lost friends is great.
    So dont hate on myspace just because you can only get “TOM” as a friend.
    But anyways , to me your making myspace out to be a very bad, and annoying site, but that’s your opinion
    and no one really cares.
    your anger towards myspace is pointless.
    thanx. 😀

  14. Cheing Le

    I found your blog on my search engine and wanted to let you know that I like it! I just added you to my bookmarks. Really Impressive Stuff Here. I’m Looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future. Thanks Again – Chuck

  15. Anonymous

    good article that is exactly why my wife and i got rid of our my space accounts.
    nice article again


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