MySpace is NOT giving away free cell phones but instead launching a free ad-supported phone VERSION (of the site)....
In what looks like a classic case of someone leaving a critical word out of a headline, the Associated Press this morning came out with this report that MySpace is apparently launching an advertising supported free cell-phone. As indicated in the news release:
The company already offers premium, subscription-based versions of MySpace through AT&T Inc. and Helio wireless services. Those versions include special features integrated into specific handsets, such as uploading cell phone photos directly to a user's profile page.
The new version set to launch Monday will work on all U.S. carriers and will allow users to send and receive messages and friend requests, comment on pictures, post bulletins, update blogs, and find and search for friends.
At first I went along with the headline but the more I read it the more it made no sense whatsoever. There was no mention of phones... rate plans... or anything else. Gradually it dawned on me that while the AP headline was this:
Myspace to launch ad-supported cell phone
what they really meant was this:
Myspace to launch ad-supported cell phone version
And here I was getting all excited that News Corp. was doing something truly stunning and had figured out a way to use advertising to drive the costs of all calls to $0 and give away all the phones and minutes for free! Given the huge community of MySpace users out there, they would probably have immediate pickup and would truly disrupt the industry.
Ah, well... the truth appears to be that they are just making it easier to use MySpace on web-enabled cell-phones without paying for the subscription version. Commendable... but not even remotely as exciting.
Let's see how far people run with the "MySpace to give away free cell phones" theme today!