News

Popular networking site launches MySpace en Espanol

Ryan Blitstein
San Jose Mercury News (MCT)

SAN JOSE, Calif. - MySpace has launched the beta version of MySpace en Espanol, a site aimed at America's 42 million Latinos, the social networking site said Tuesday.

MySpace, headquartered in Beverly Hills, Calif., but owned by New York media company News Corp., said the entertainment content and artists on the new site will be geared toward the U.S. Hispanic population, and it will offer a Spanish-language instant messenger service.

"We're moving rapidly to build communities that reflect and respect the lifestyles of our diverse members," Travis Katz, senior vice president and general manager of MySpace International, said in a statement. "MySpace en Espanol opens the community even wider, giving our Hispanic members the choice to share their experiences, connect with family members, and plan their social lives in either Spanish or English."

The site is at latino.myspace.com.

MySpace ranks among the top five Web destinations for U.S. Latinos. About 43 percent of Hispanic Americans who use the Internet visited the site last month, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. MySpace estimates that more than 6 million of its U.S. users described themselves as Latino/a and/or Hispanic in their profiles.

MySpace's target audience of teens and young adults is well represented among U.S. Latinos. The average age among U.S. Hispanics in 2005 was 27.2, compared with 36.2 in the general population. About one-third of the Hispanic population was under 18 in 2005, compared with one-fourth of Americans as a whole, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

MySpace also announced Tuesday the beta launch of a Pan-American site, MySpace Latinoamerica (la.myspace.com), and revealed plans for sites in Brazil and Mexico. It already has communities in more than 10 countries, including the United Kingdom and Japan.

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