Until 2008, MySpace was with its 76 million monthly unique users the most popular social network in the world and a pioneer of its kind. You all know the story of the breakthrough of Facebook, there’s no need to go into detail about the history of the ever growing and almost 1 billion strong social network. In short, as Facebook started to dominate the social media sphere, Myspace was quickly forgotten.
When Specific Media Executives, the Vanderhook brothers, last June announced to have acquired MySpace with superstar Justin Timberlake for just $35 million (News Corporation with Rupert Murdoch paid $580 million for it back in 2005), the buzz about the new MySpace started to spread.
While social media analysts and users around the world claimed MySpace to be completely dead, Tim Vanderhook insisted to bring MySpace, who still had 33 million monthly users, back to glory announcing that “We are going to make Myspace cool again”, and the number of users has since then been steadily rising. They where otherwise very secretive about what changes the new MySpace implied, and I know some of us have been very curious to see how Justin would bring MySpace “sexy back”.
The wait is now over. On Monday, Justin Timberlake announced the arrival of the new Myspace in this tweet:
— Justin Timberlake(@jtimberlake) September 24, 2012
It is still to soon to say how exactly the new MySpace will be and whether it is going to be a success. So far, only a video showing the new sleek design is available:
Users and social media specialists around the world seem to have split opinions about the new interface, but my guess is that MySpace will see a huge growth with the new launch. The new design is beautiful and puts large focus on visual content. The old MySpace was mostly a place for artists to share their music, but the new redesign seems to integrate a larger number of functionalities – and judging from the video, it looks like a fushion of Pinterest, Tumblr, Path and Spotify or Soundcloud, but with a horizontal interface making it optimised for tablet use, I imagine.
Here are some of the top new features that you can determine from the video:
- Facebook and Twitter integration to find your followers and friends and import photo albums.
- Artist profiles with music albums, photo albums and playlists accompanied by photos as well as behind the scenes photos to albums.
- Dedicated fan profiles where fans of course don’t just play the role as spectators, but interact with the artists – and the artists interact with fans and can also get an overview of their top fans, most influential fans and a demographic breakdown. Lastly, they can even message top fans:
Music news site with equal focus on the visual experience and content
MySpace seems to have developed a news site within the social network with a discover tab bringing exclusive interviews, music news, editors’ picks, song premieres, events etc.
The focus on the visual experience, along with the possibility of integrating Facebook and Twitter, will certainly be some of the factors leading to a rebirth for MySpace. But not only the visual aspect seems to be emphasized; also the content seems to be of a high quality – and at the end of the day, content is what matters the most.
The platform still revolves around the creative spectre: music, art, photography and filmmaking. MySpace is of course a social network for the creative community to interact in. What this involves for brands is yet to be known, but I think many brands with a strong visual identity will see the benefit of the visual storytelling, which the platform calls for. The new MySpace also opens up for possibilities for both music and art endorsement strategies. Maybe McDonalds and Justin Timberlake are ready for a new partnership?