The granddaddy of social media is back and better than ever before; Myspace. The infamous social site, now owed by the Vanderhook brothers and Justin Timberlake, has had its 4th redesign unveiled, focussing more on music and better integration with Facebook and Twitter. Will it work? Or is it too late?
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks; well, that doesn’t seem to be the case for Myspace and its 4th refurb, one that the owners are positive will help the ailing social network have more relevance in today’s society. Whilst under construction the site assured users that, ‘we’re staying true to our roots in one important way – empowering people to express themselves however they want’. Nice to see that they are determined to keep what it was we all loved about the site in the first place.
The current audience of Myspace is currently at 54million, a mere shadow of its former self - especially at its peak in 2005. It was then that News Corp bought the site that it all went down hill. Its original price tag was a hefty $580m but was sold for just $35m in June to Specific Media, the digital-advertising company that has Justin Timberlake behind the wheel alongside the Vanderhook Brothers. This week was blessed with a video, escorting us through the ins and outs of the 4th edition.
So what’s different about it?
Take a look, you won’t recognise the place:
It's rather attractive, no? As you can see, the redesign has put visuals at the forefront of its selling points an advantage above many of the other current sites who have grown up 'on the social scene'. But we can't just judge a book by its cover, real judgement can be passed once we've had the choice to play with it for ourselves. The consumer cares about annoying adverts, loading times, smooth operation, functionality and, a big one, the transference of data from the old model to the new one.
But what does the video show us?
So, one of the key features in the new use of the control panel that, with a similar look to that of Windows 8, still puts music at the focus of the user experience. Users are able to control audio content from the navigation panel and also pair playlists with photograph albums, highlighting the importance of social time with music. So, for all of those who want to remember what music was playing when THAT moment happened, maybe this style of sharing can help jog your memory… is that something we really want? This feature is accessed via the Mixes Tab which takes the user to the playlists that have been uploaded on to Myspace and, by clicking on the desired playlist, you can see images that connect the playlist to an event. Smart, no?
Then there is the Discover Tool within the panel that will display trending artists, music, videos, mixes news, concerts etc, all of which can be selected and dropped into personal folders or shared on your space.
Another difference from that of other sites is that scrolling is done by going across the content rather than scrolling down, offering a new dynamic to how you view Myspace and separating it from the likes of Facebook and Twitter. As you’ll have noticed, there is a healthy dose of Pinterest and the tile-based approach of Windows behind the inspiration here, but utilizing these platforms to create activity that is comparable to that of leading social sites.
What Myspace does have that all internet users tap into is the 42 million track strong library of music and, when the finished refurb has finally been revealed, is bound to grow in numbers rapidly.
So will it be a success? You never know, these days. We are a fickle bunch and sometimes feel that we spoiled for choice, settling for one or two platforms from which to do our activity. Can Myspace muscle its way back into the running? Well, with the determined talents of Justin Timberlake behind the wheel and the sleek minimalist design, the prospects are looking good. They also launched a new music player, earlier this year, which reportedly drew in a new crowd of fans, something that this new version is hoping to achieve as well as encouraging misled veterans.
Only time will tell.
Written by Ben Taylor