January 24, 2007 12:09 PM PST

MySpace confirms upcoming launch of Mexican version

MySpace.com has confirmed rumors that it will be launching a Spanish-language version of the popular social-networking service for Mexican users.

Word of "MySpace Mexico" began to spread on Tuesday when information about the site leaked to entertainment news site Billboard.com.

Travis Katz, head of international media for News Corp.'s Fox Interactive Media, of which MySpace is a subsidiary, on Wednesday confirmed the development of the site to CNET News.com. According to Katz, the site has been "soft-launched," meaning that a preliminary version is live but that MySpace doesn't inform anyone of it and does not direct any traffic there.

"It's really a testing phase for us, not something we're pushing out," Katz said. "That phase normally lasts about two weeks, and then we move into what we call our beta launch."

When the Mexican site is launched in beta, users of MySpace's original U.S. version who are geographically located in Mexico will be redirected to the new site. Several months later, the service will be officially launched. "That's when we start talking to the press about what we're doing," Katz explained.

He added that already, almost a million of MySpace's 90 million global users are located in Mexico. They currently use the U.S. site but will be given the option to transfer to the new Spanish-language site when the beta launches in several weeks.

"Our international expansion is one of the biggest priorities for the company this year," Katz said. "We're really into the process of turning MySpace from a U.S.-based site into a global cultural phenomenon."

In addition to the U.S. site, MySpace also operates English-language versions in the United Kingdom and Australia; a French-language version in France that left beta earlier this month; and beta sites in Germany, Japan, Italy and Spain.

See more CNET content tagged:
MySpace, News Corp., beta, Mexico, U.S.


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