A week after cutting 30% of its U.S. workforce, social-networking giant MySpace said Tuesday that it would cut two-thirds of its international workforce and consolidate overseas operations in fewer countries.
The cuts -- 420 jobs domestically and 300 overseas -- marked a further loosening of the Beverly Hills company's once-iron grip on the social-networking world. The News Corp. subsidiary has lost 3.4 million U.S. users in the last 12 months, according to Web ratings firm ComScore Inc.
"It was clear that internationally, just as in the U.S., MySpace's staffing had become too big and cumbersome to be sustainable in current market conditions," said Chief Executive Owen Van Natta.
Meanwhile, primary rival Facebook in Palo Alto, Calif., had 70.28 million U.S. users in May, edging out MySpace's 70.26 million to become the nation's most popular social networking website, ComScore reported last week. Earlier in the year, Facebook overtook MySpace globally.
MySpace said it would close at least four of its international offices and refocus its presence abroad in London, Berlin and Sydney. Operations in 10 other countries, including Canada and Mexico, will bear the brunt of the cuts.
While Facebook was developing "social" features that allow users to communicate and share content, MySpace was focusing on becoming a media hub that included a Hollywood-friendly video platform stocked with Web programs.
But the strategy may have led MySpace astray.
"Facebook was more suitable for true social networking purposes," said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project. "The most attractive thing about MySpace was that you could build a funky looking Web page, but the social networking piece wasn't as compelling."
With the cuts, MySpace's workforce will shrink to 1,150 worldwide, closer to Facebook's 900-plus employees.