MySpace launches redesign... hey, please, keep reading!
Earlier this afternoon, I logged into my MySpace account for the first time in months. That happened for the same reason I opened an account on the site--a news story required it, not because of any personal interest.
The occasion back in 2006 was the arrival of a MySpace-connected phone from the Helio service (anybody remember that?); today's justification was a redesign of the fading site.
Now, instead of being a disorganized predecessor of Facebook known for collecting some of the ugliest page designs in the history of the Web, MySpace wants to remake itself as "a social entertainment destination for Gen Y," to quote its press release.
(As a Gen X-er, should I read that Gen-Y reference as an invitation to cancel my account?)
The site's own presentation and a writeup by Mashable show how much the new MySpace emphasizes connecting to celebrities music, videos, TV shows, movies and games--as opposed to friends without any halo of publicity.
MySpace resisted the temptation to rename itself to the more accurate moniker TheirSpace, but it is adding a new logo, as seen above.
I'm skeptical that the relaunch will do much to pull this News Corp. subsidiary out of its tailspin. The site now only claims "more than 100 million users worldwide, and half of which in the U.S," or less than a fifth of Facebook's total.
(Disclaimer: Even though Post Co. chairman Donald E. Graham sits on Facebook's board of directors, I won't make any more money if Facebook finishes wiping MySpace off the map.)
A look through the pages of the friends I'd added on the site illustrated what a mess it's in: Almost all of them had simply abandoned their profiles--in one bar's case, telling visitors upfront to look for it on Facebook instead. How do you reverse that kind of decay?
Gawker's Ryan Tate was mean earlier today when he called MySpace "the terminally ill old social network down by the river," but I don't think that's an inaccurate read of the situation.
News Corp.'s $580 million expenditure to buy MySpace's parent company in 2005 looks like a huge social-media mistake--though not nearly as hideous as AOL's $850 million purchase of Bebo in 2008, undone in June when it unloaded the site for less than $10 million.
One last example: The last newsroom guidance about promoting our work through social media didn't even mention MySpace. I think I know the answer, but you tell me: Is that a mistake on our part? Are we missing out on anything?
| October 27, 2010; 1:03 PM ET
Categories: Social media, The business we have chosen
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