Terry Heaton reports that MySpace is to launch its own news aggregation platform early in 2Q2006. Apparently it will aggregate news from a variety of sources and Terry points out that the deals it chooses to cut "will show us what types of news will be of interest to young people, circa 2007".
First Wii, now MySpace: it seems anyone with an audience relationship, an interface and a share of attention can turn their hands to news. (And in another sense - of course they can, for as long as news content providers remain united in the determination to give away the core product in a myriad of forms.)
That MySpace is getting into content verticals is no surprise - I said they would in my predictions for the year. That MySpace is doing so via third-party syndication is a little less readily explicable.
The site has one of the richest sources of original content in the history of the world, an active membership of probably around 40 million users talking about all manner of things: the quotidian babble of toast and toothpaste, sure, but also hyperlocal news, sports reports, book synopses, celebrity gossip, restaurant reviews and all the things that make up a news content set. MySpace news that encouraged MySpace users to tag up their posts according to subject and category and then pulled them together in the appropriate vertical would be interesting, and make use of the site's unmatched USP. It could be Oh My News meets the local paper meets Ask City. Instead, a MySpace news that aggregates TV, newspaper or newswire news is just more of the same - Google or Yahoo! News with a different hat on.