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MySpace squeezes out two thirds of international staff

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MySpace is slashing two thirds of its international workforce and bringing the axe down on at least four of of its international offices.

The cuts will mean its international workforce dropping from 450 to 150 people.

The global bloodletting comes a week after the Rupert Murdoch-owned social networking site said it would dump 30 per cent of its staff in the US, chopping its workforce there to around 1,000.

According to the Associated Press, Chief Executive Owen Van Natta said in a statement: "As we conducted our review of the company, it was clear that internationally, just as in the U.S., MySpace's staffing had become too big and cumbersome to be sustainable in current market conditions."

We assume that means too big and cumbersome when ad sales aren't what you'd hoped, Facebook is growing more quickly than you are, and suddenly everyone is talking about Twitter.

AP says London, Sydney and Berlin will be MySpace's main hubs, leaving ten other offices under review.

The swingeing cuts come just months after co-founder and CEO Chris De Wolfe stepped down, to be replaced by ex-Facebooker Van Natta.

MySpace was the first social networking site to really burst into the public consciousness, mainly because Murdoch shelled out $580m to buy the site back in 2005.

His grab at the social networking market marked a turnaround for the media mogul, who had previously been dismissive of the net: or at least of some of the prevailing wisdom about how to make money online.

Lately he's been returning to form, however, declaring last month that the free access model was indeed flawed and he expected his organisation's websites to start charging for content within the year.

"The current days of the Internet will soon be over," he told a conference call in May. It's unlikely that MySpace's workforce realised at the time that he meant their current days. ®

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