Rupert Murdoch’s MySpace social networking web site is chasing after Bollywood stars as it expands into new geographies.
Today’s Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports that MySpace is sending its employees to meet with Bollywood folks in hopes of getting the stars to create profiles and share news and videos with fans.
MySpace’s Bollywood mission is part of its strategy to raise its profile in India as it gears up to launch a custom version of its web site for the Indian market next year.
But as the WSJ story notes making headway in new geographies is not going to be easy for MySpace:
Expanding its global footprint is a top priority for MySpace, fighting intensifying competition from rivals such as Facebook Inc. While MySpace retains a big lead in the U.S., Facebook is growing quickly. And outside the U.S., Facebook has passed MySpace — drawing 55 million unique non-U.S. visitors in October to MySpace’s 45 million, according to comScore Inc.
While MySpace has a strong lead over Facebook in Europe, Facebook is the No. 1 social-networking site in a combined category for Africa and the Middle East, according to comScore. And Facebook is likely to become a bigger threat elsewhere: The company also has announced it is translating the site into new languages.
But with the power of Murdoch’s News Corp (parent company of MySpace) behind it, it’s safe to say MySpace will give Facebook, Google’s Orkut and other social networking upstarts a run for their money in Asia and Africa as well.