Google just threw down the digital gauntlet, right in front of Facebook's feet, with the announcement of a new social sharing site called Google+.
The site is invite-only at the moment (cue hundreds of "Can anyone spare me a Plus invite?" requests on Twitter), so for those who can't get inside, the basic premise is this: Plus lets you create groups of people called "Circles", and you can share stuff among those groups in a more focused way than you might using Facebook.
So while you might share the news that you've got engaged with everyone in all your Circles, the other news - about how your engagement party ended up with three hospitalized casualties, your car painted bright pink, and your purchase of 20 square miles of prime Los Angeles real estate for just $20 and a can of Coke - might just be shared with your BFFs. Or maybe the subset of your BFFs who were invited to the party.
The price is well below the $100 million that News Corp. had been hoping for and a chasm away from Myspace’s one-time billion valuation.
The deal includes a halfing of Myspace’s staff of 400, as well as other cost cuts. It’s likely Myspace CEO Mike Jones and other top staff will remain only for an interim period.
News Corp. bought Myspace for $580 million in 2005, and made that back via a lucrative advertising deal with Google when the social networking site was flying high.
But that was another time–the media giant has been trying to sell the site before the end of its fiscal year, which falls on Thursday, in order to get it off the books.