Dear Owen: Good Luck With That

Just how big a task does MySpace’s freshly appointed CEO Owen Van Natta have in front of him? Let’s take a quick peek at the latest global traffic stats from comScore which just came out today. On a global basis, Facebook attracted more than twice as many visitors in the month of March as arch-rival MySpace.

Facebook had an estimated 294.7 million unique visitors in March, 2009 on a worldwide basis, compared to 125.7 million for MySpace. While Facebook gained 19 million visitors during the month, MySpace gained only 2 million. In terms of pageviews, MySpace has seen a drop of 20 percent since January (to 37.9 billion), whereas Facebook has seen growth of 22 percent in the exact opposite direction (to 87.3 billion). And while MySpace is still bigger in the U.S., Facebook is closing that gap fast.

Owen Van Natta must figure out some way to reinvigorate MySpace and keep it from languishing its way towards mediocrity. Maybe the answer is to turn MySpace Music into the new engine of growth for the entire social network or focus on some other niche where MySpace can win. But if Van Natta’s ambition is to retake the top spot in social networking, well, good luck with that.