Can MySpace (NYSE: NWS) benefit from Facebook’s recent privacy woes? The company is updating its privacy settings to make them not Facebook-like; new privacy settings will be “simpler” and “more intuitive” — a contrast to Facebook’s settings which have been criticized for being too complex. Specifically, MySpace says users will now be able to easily control who can access all of the content on their profiles. The site previously had more granular settings but few were using them.
MySpace’s changes have been in the works for several months, so they’re not directly related to the recent backlash over some of Facebook’s moves, which have made it impossible for users to limit access to some of their profile information. But MySpace co-president Mike Jones does note in a blog post that the “last few weeks have been fraught with discussion around user privacy on social networks” and says that the company is announcing the changes now because of the recent “outcry.”
Will users care? People might be shouting loudly about Facebook’s changes but they aren’t abandoning the social net in droves. The company is soon expected to reach 500 million users — a milestone Alley Insider speculates the site may announce soon to counter some of the bad press.