NEW YORK -- In a sign of the companies' divergent fortunes, MySpace said Thursday it will let its users log in to their Facebook accounts through their MySpace page.
Doing so will port the likes and interests they have listed on their Facebook profiles to MySpace, where they will get a stream of entertainment content based on these interests.
MySpace users have already been able to sync their status updates to their Facebook profiles. Thursday's announcement is a deeper integration of Facebook's technology into MySpace. It doesn't involve any financial transactions.
The integration of Facebook Connect into MySpace's home page will be followed by the addition of Facebook's "Like" buttons across MySpace, the company said.
Once a mighty rival, MySpace has conceded that it is no longer a social network but a social entertainment destination -- think MTV for the Web 2.0 generation. To this end, the company recently overhauled its website to give its mostly young audience more ways to consume music, videos and celebrity gossip. CEO Mike Jones said in a conference call Thursday that the users' initial response to the redesign is "very, very positive."
Facebook, meanwhile, is working to become the social overlay of the Web. Dan Rose, a Facebook vice president, called the integration with MySpace a "powerful demonstration of the Facebook platform."
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. bought MySpace for $580 million in 2005. After a promising start, the site began to lose its luster. Users and advertisers flocked to Facebook. In its most recent quarter, which ended Sept. 30, News Corp. said its "other" business segment, which includes MySpace and the rest of the Digital Media Group, reported an operating loss of $156 million, $30 million greater than a year earlier. The main reason for this was lower search and advertising revenues at MySpace.