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MySpace Brazil launches, entering the Orkut jungle

News Corp.-owned social network launches another localized site, this one a Portuguese-language version for a Brazilian audience. announced Friday that it has launched a localized site in Brazil, making it the site's 20th regional edition and the first one to be entirely in Portuguese. To spearhead the new MySpace site, the News Corp.-owned social network has hired Emerson Calegaretti as general director of MySpace Brazil and Haryston Oliveira as marketing director.

In addition to the main U.S. site, there are already localized MySpace sites for Canada, Latin America, Mexico, Australia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K., Denmark, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Austria, Japan and New Zealand.

As a kickoff for the new Brazilian site, MySpace is throwing a "Secret Show" concert on December 19 featuring the rock band NX Zero. While little-known in the U.S., NX Zero took home several awards at the Brazilian edition of MTV's Video Music Awards this year. According to a release from MySpace, 55,000 bands from Brazil already have profiles on the site.

Social networking is big in Brazil, but MySpace is going to have serious competition in the form of Orkut. The Google-owned service famously failed to catch on in the U.S. but spread like wildfire in Brazil, with over 55 percent of the site's nearly 70 million members reporting that as their home country.

But one advantage to MySpace may be that Orkut is designed for the 18+ crowd and focuses on networking and dating, not music and pop culture. MySpace's appeal to teenagers and music fans could fill a different niche, but it's a stretch--Brazil is one country where a single site more or less totally dominates the social-networking landscape.