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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?

By Rob Pegoraro  | October 27, 2010; 1:03 PM ET
Categories:  Social media, The business we have chosen  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Devices that don't exist: the white iPhone, the PlayStation Phone
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I'd like to see this site find a good nitch for itself and have success once again, even though im not a big Rupert Murdock fan. I have to say im very impressed with the redesign, i think marketing to the under 40 generation Y crowd is the brilliant way to go. I see this as a popular entertainment/music/gaming/dating site for young adults in another year. Lets Face it, Facebook is really starting to suck and people are starting to grow tired of Zuckerburgs nonsense. I mostly see the younger generation flocking to the new Myspace. Well done!

Posted by: MrWillie | October 27, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Due to an unfortunate personal experience, I discovered that over the years MySpace had become the secret safe haven for philanderers and adulterers to communicate without (so they thought) being discovered.
Cuz everyone (significant) else in the world was on FB.

Where and what, will they crawl under now?

Posted by: Serverluv561 | October 27, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

They should merge with Yahoo and keep redesigning themselves until they've disappeared.

Posted by: -bwg | October 27, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

@ Serverluv561 - And facebook is the secret safe haven for pedophiles and child predators -

Personally, facebook hasn't gotten a little stale. I'd love to see myspace evolve into a new social destination that is not about what my friend ate for breakfast.

Posted by: casualcommentor | October 27, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

What you would be “missing out on” by not using MySpace are all the security issues with Facebook, hassling with their ever-changing privacy settings, their shape-shifting interface design, and having FarmVille harvest all your friend lists.

Posted by: 54Stratocaster | October 27, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I tried to sign up for facebook, but they didn't believe my real name so wouldn't allow the account; they had no problem believing my name was Hank Hill from Arlen TX, though. (As in, "I'm not sure what's goin' on here Bobby, but there'd better be a naked cheerleader under your bed.")
I keep my account on myspace just for trading pirated MP3s.

Posted by: Darr247 | October 28, 2010 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Given how complicated it is to post and sell music on Facebook, this will be a temporary niche for them.

Once FB gets serious make mods that easily allow artists to add music and format it, then they will lose that niche too. No one wants to go to two places for similar stuff. Plus the artists are already on FB sending updates to people who Like them. Why split the focus?

Posted by: dabraat | October 28, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I've never thought myspace had much value other than hero worship so I am glad they are redesigning the site to focus on that aspect.

Posted by: slar | October 28, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

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