The new Myspace redesign was teased with a video in September. As promised, the new layout is starting to roll out to users. Will Myspace be THE PLATFORM of 2013? The idea is certainly sexy.
When Myspace was King
In 2003, the highlight of my day was running home and checking my Myspace page. For five years, it was the mecca for bands to converge online and the top social media choice for young adults and teenagers. Then, it seemed like overnight, the pendulum swung at whiplash speed and everyone switched from Myspace to Facebook. In most people’s minds, the website now seems obsolete. In 2008, the spam on Myspace became unbearable. It took way too long for pages to load and all the ads bogged you down. Myspace tried too hard to be all things social and failed. It didn’t have an affordable or optimal solution for brands either. It may have been too late as the rise of users’ real identities started to sweep the nation and people opted for a safe online environment, free of spam. Total profile customization and freedom of expression were abandoned for the standardization and structured profiles that Facebook offered. It wasn’t that users didn’t want to express themselves online, however, similar to my experience, all of my friends were spending time on Facebook, so the users went to where their friends were – their real friends – and it was no longer Myspace.
The site is currently ranked 161st for web traffic and most people’s Myspace profiles sit untouched, floating around somewhere in cyberspace. It took me about five tries to even remember my password when I finally logged back in to look at the old format while researching this post. Over the past few years, Myspace has tried to reinvent itself with little success, but something tells me this time is different. Justin Timberlake and Specific Media Group bought the company in 2011 and it looks like they have been working hard to bring Myspace back the right way. And dare we say at Sociality Squared: they may be onto something!
What’s Next? Hints Teased by the New Myspace Trailer
Justin Timberlake released a teaser video about the new Myspace at the end of September. The new Myspace is JT’s vision, and by the looks of that video, it’s quite an awesome vision and the perfect combination of Pinterest and Tumblr with some Spotify-type features thrown in, and a whole new design. Moreso, Myspace seems to be going back to its roots and instead of being all things to all people, the new design seems to focus even more on music. A smart move among many from the hints released in the trailer.
From what can be seen in the video, the format is clean, browser friendly and honestly just pretty to look at. Beautiful images that take up the full screen are integrated into the user, brand and musician profiles. Users will browse from left to right, a new trend catering toward mobile devices, whether smartphones or tablets. The imagery is very futuristic-looking. The website will also have a built in music player, with what appears to be a user-friendly (and possibly social) way to search for music. It will be a great way to make playlists and share them with your friends, making it a one stop-shop for photo and music sharing. Basically, Myspace has a fresh, new make-over with features that make it unlike any other social media website to date, and as cutting edge as designs can be at the moment.
A Social Network for the Creative Community
The main focus of the new Myspace is not primarily for social interaction with peers, though that will still be a desirable feature. Its main goal is for artists to connect with fans. The new Myspace will be the social network for artists and fans that LinkedIn is for people in professional occupations. Tim Vederhook, CEO of Specific Media Group says the new Myspace is “a social network for the creative community to connect to their fans and for fans to have a great experience as well as to explore and find out more about the artists they love.” And he isn’t just talking about musicians and bands. This time around it will be beneficial to filmmakers, photographers and designers as well. If your brand is in a creative industry, you may want to consider building out a presence on Myspace again.
But Will the New Myspace Float?
One of the main concerns with the comeback of Myspace is that people already have enough social platforms consuming their time. Why would they want another one? At Sociality Squared, we’re cautiously optimistic about the new Myspace’s success (and partly just downright curious to see what happens!). It will provide connections for artists and their fans that no other social media can provide, and powered with the social graphs already established on the big players, like Facebook and Twitter. It will make discovering new music incredibly easy. It’s going to help artists get their name out there and will help their fans promote them across the globe. At the same time, it will be another great way for networking and social media to be shared with all your friends. And did I mention that it’s beautiful to look at?
Should Facebook be worried? No. Our bets are that it won’t be any competition for Facebook, or Twitter for that matter. In fact, we’re guessing that the new Myspace will integrate with Facebook and Twitter and allow users to log-in with either platform. In essence, whatever activity a user does on Myspace could potentially be broadcast back to Facebook through Facebook Connect and a Timeline App, similar to how activity on Pinterest is currently broadcasted automatically to Facebook, or tweeted if the users proactively take that action. Facebook has built itself as the plumbing infrastructure for sites like Spotify and Myspace to build on top of and expand on product offerings for different niches.
Of course everything will come down to execution with the new redesign for Myspace. The top two platforms that should be a little worried are Tumblr and Pinterest, especially if there’s an element of discovery and search based on imagery. Websites that have also built themselves up specifically to cater to musicians should be a little worried too. The video trailer hints at insights on the platform that showcase where the biggest and loudest fans are, another smart move by Myspace.
The new Myspace doesn’t have a hard launch date. The plan is to roll it out gradually, starting with invite-only members. The owners of Specific Media Group claim it will be launched by the end of the year, which seems to be happening now. Who knows, it might become one of your staple social media sites again. Just like back in the day. Time will tell.