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Myspace Remodel Hopes To Draw In Users

Jessica Zech |
November 8, 2012 | 11:27 a.m. PST

Contributor

You thought it was gone. The customizable profiles with puppies or popular celebrities in the background, free songs on a band’s page and self-taken pictures. Myspace, the social networking site popular before Facebook, isn't gone, though, and is getting a new look and re-launching soon.

Although the official launch date has not been released, a teaser video provided a sneak peek at what users can expect from the New Myspace.

The site is targeted toward artists and musicians with new features that aim to connect them to their fans. “Top Fans of the Week” shows popular figures what demographic is interested in them.

The New Myspace’s sleek, clean design resembles photo and inspiration-sharing site Pinterest. Past Myspace users said the site’s old design was partly why they deleted their profiles.

“Facebook was better organized whereas Myspace profiles were a little too busy and messy,” said Arthur Stacy, a senior at Wesleyan University.

Nicole Guzman, a student at Santa Clara University, agreed that Facebook “was a lot simpler in appearance.”

People who left Myspace for Facebook also said they made the switch because their friends did.

Facebook, which launched in February, 2004, now has more than 1 billion users. Myspace, which launched in August, 2003, has about 21 million users.

Specific Media and Justin Timberlake bought Myspace for $35 million in June from News Corps., which bought the domain for $580 million in 2005. The new investors spearheading the revamp will have to tackle how to attract users and find a niche in the already crowded social networking environment.

Some active Facebook users do not see a hole in the social networking world.

“I can't think of a void in social networking. Twitter is good to catch up on your favorite celebrities and Facebook is more intimate,” explained Gonzaga University student Haley Hulbert. She mainly uses Twitter to get updates on what her favorite celebrities are doing.

Guzman does not plan to use the New Myspace because Facebook is the only site she needs to use to connect with her social circle.

“I am already on Facebook and to me they serve the same purpose, which is to keep up with what my friends are doing,” said Guzman. She said she checks her Facebook two or three times an hour on both her smartphone and computer.

Google ran into this same problem with its social networking site, Google+, which has 170 million users. It has unique features like group video chats called Hangouts and Circles that allow users to share things with only certain people, but it is not drawing people away from Facebook.

Facebook has become the center of social networking. Twitter users can link their Twitter and Facebook accounts, so their tweets also get posted on Facebook. People can also link Instagram, a photo-sharing application Facebook bought in April for $1 billion, to their Facebook.

The New Myspace will return to its roots as a place for people to listen to music for free, connect with their favorite bands and discover new artists.   

Even if the site is more about music and less about social networking, Stacy said he has “other ways to get the music [he] want[s].” Hulbert listens to free music on Spotify, which people can use through Facebook. People can also use Pandora or 8Tracks, free music sites.

Beta News technology writer Wayne Williams explained the New Myspace will have to draw big celebrities away from Twitter and Facebook and enable them to share things fans cannot get from other platforms.

The New Myspace will also have to fight the sour taste the original site left in many users’ mouths.

“Myspace is lame,” asserted Landon Beamer, a student at Boston University. “Facebook is better compared to it, and I’m never going back.”

He is not alone in this opinion.   

“I think that Myspace is done because it had its time, but now it is just tired and no one will be willing to give it another real chance,” said Hulbert, who spends about an hour on Facebook a day.

 

Reach Contributor Jessica Zech here.



 

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TRM. (not verified) on November 8, 2012 2:23 PM

Justin & Co I hope have got it right this time. Give Myspace back to the people who made it what it was.
Rupert and the developers merely screwed it up, nothing worked anymore, bring back the old Myspace was the cry. The music makers are still out there, millions of them, the bands and the fans. They had nowhere to go in all truth, they just lost interest as Myspace crumbled. Contrary to what many may say, there is a huge hole here waiting to be filled by anyone who can hand the platform back to the people.
I reckon Facebook is in for a rough ride if Justin & Co do just that.
I wish them well with this venture, just get the politics right too I say, Facebook is treading on thin ice on that one by dictating to everyone about their rules and regulations.
Even YouTube dont do that, they ask the people politely, and offer sensible options.
As for privacy ? Well Facebook blew that one long ago.
Myspace can only go one way with perhaps the last serious chance open for it to survive.
That is forward and upward, down and out is nowhere, which is where it is now.
If they get it all working' for the bands musicians and fans, watch out Facebook.
Music is a truly powerful force to be reckoned with combined with the social side of life.
As was proved by Myspace in its prime, time to get it back I say, long overdue.
Watch out Facebook - Myspace is about !! 'We are Myspace - We are not in your face'
TRM.

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