In a herculean effort to revive the glory days of old Myspace, Specific Media provided a glimpse at a major overhaul of the music-centric online community on September 24. This new interface boasts a built-in music player, media-focused content stream and left-to-right timeline of posts, among other upgrades.
I had a Myspace account back in the day. Hell, who didn’t? It was fun, filled with music and the epitome of early-2000′s social networking. And then Facebook opened up its digital doors to users beyond those with a .edu email address. Since then, what Facebook has been able to do that Myspace hasn’t is provide value and relevancy in connectivity – not just “snacking time” entertainment, music & gaming in a spammy fashion (yes, the recent partnership between DataLogix and Facebook has everyone in a tizzy about how all of their personal data will be shared – so this notion of value/relevancy is now being called into question… but that’s another entry for another day).
Even through several site redesigns, Myspace has been experiencing a slow bleed in its user base. Bands and artists – the lifeblood of Myspace’s community – began flocking to Facebook, using services such as iLike.
So, my question is: with this latest redesign effort, is it a turning point in Myspace’s attempted revival? Or is it too little too late?
I’m reminded of the cinematic classic, “Mean Girls.” Throughout the movie, Gretchen Weiners, sidekick and second fiddle to Queen Bee Regina George, continually tries to push the catch phrase “so fetch.” Eventually, Regina shuts her down with a declaration that fetch is “not going to happen.”
This month, the role of Gretchen Weiners will be played by Myspace.
Why the New Myspace is “So Fetch”
- Stunning design borrowing from Pinterest & Instagram’s best feature/functionality. The reason why Pinterest & Instagram are so obnoxiously popular is because their content streams maintain a focused emphasis on imagery (also why photo albums are the top-performing type of content on Facebook). We consume visually and in bite-sized experiences, and Myspace gets that.
- Support from Justin Timberlake. The best way to bring sexy back is to force its cool-factor from an industry expert. No, not a SoMe or UE/UI expert – a music expert. JT lends a lot of cred to Myspace in this regard.
- Tight integration with Facebook and Twitter. Leverage your opponents’ strengths against them – judo strategy at its finest. Not to mention, this provides a cooler, more seamless user experience. By connecting your Myspace account with Facebook, you don’t have to start from scratch – you bring your friends and interests over with you.
Why MySpace Needs to Stop Trying to Make “Fetch” Happen
- Spotify has become the online music community’s de facto. Spotify’s user base is growing rapidly, thanks to a boost from Facebook integration. Additionally, bands/artists are paid PER STREAM (I’m convinced that I alone am funding Carly Rae Jepsen’s vacay fund) and there are some pretty cool promotion and integration opportunities from their standpoint. With these hooks, can Myspace really make a comeback with musicians? Or, perhaps the more important question is: can Myspace help musicians monetize as effectively as Spotify can?
- Myspace only has 25 million users as of June 2012. This is peanuts when compared with Facebook (900M), Twitter (500M), and even the socially awkward second cousin of the SoMe communities, Google+ (400M). Then again, Instagram has about 30M users and SoMe darling Pinterest only has around 12M active users.
- The stigma is that Myspace is lame. It’s definitely not the “cool kid” of SoMe anymore. In addition to a redesign, Myspace essentially has an entire re-branding campaign ahead of it.
- ANOTHER social network to maintain? As if we’re not all busy/overloaded/bombarded enough. And what’s going to happen when brands start advertising on Myspace? More noise, more unwanted marketing messages to filter out. No thank you!
The fact is, much remains to be seen. What are your thoughts on the new look and feel – do you side with Gretchen or Regina in this battle of the fetch? Will you be requesting your invite anytime soon?