New Myspace Comeback – Is Justin Timberlake Up to the Challenge?
In case you haven’t heard the news, Myspace is trying to stage yet another comeback. This time it is with help of Justin Timberlake who bought the social network last summer with a group of investors for $35 million. The recently released teaser video gives us a sneak peak of the website redesigned from scratch. With the opening lines of “Who am I to say I want you back?” the soundtrack for the video by JJAMZ reveals the uphill battle the website is soon to be facing: “Maybe I am ashamed to want you back. Maybe I am afraid you’ll never stay.” Admittedly, from the user standpoint, the new site looks awesome. Its slick, image-heavy design is definitely pushing the boundaries of web design and has a look and feel of Pintrest, Windows 8, and Instagram combined. The full screen interface integrates HD videos and album covers, features "endless" scrolling, fluid menus and status bars, integrated media player, and more. Myspace also adapts the “left to right” scrolling as opposed to the familiar “top down” approach used by Facebook and Twitter.
“We’re hard at work building the new Myspace, entirely from scratch. But we’re staying true to our roots in one important way – empowering people to express themselves however they want. So whether you’re a musician, photographer, filmmaker, designer or just a dedicated fan, we’d love for you to be a part of our brand new community.”
Entertainment industry will definitely have the biggest say on how well the new Myspace is received. The redesigned website seems to stay true to its roots and clearly puts a lot of focus on entertainment by presenting itself as a place to play and discover music, share photos and videos, create playlists and follow artists. Timberlake hopes that the new Myspace would make it easier for artists to engage their fans:
"With every obstacle comes an opportunity and I see this, as it speaks to somebody like me, as bridging the gap. It's just bringing the connection that much closer while still making the artist feel comfortable that they can make their art, lock themselves in a room and torture themselves as they do, and still find a way to comfortably connect with their fan base."
Interestingly, the new Myspace is careful as to not directly compete with Facebook, which wounded Myspace in the first place. Instead there seems to be an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of top social networks, allowing users to connect with their Facebook and Twitter accounts. There are no specifics on when the new Myspace will launch. There is, however, an e-mail waiting list at new.Myspace.com for those who want to jump back on the wagon. It is hard to tell if Myspace’s comeback will be successful but one thing for sure: Facebook has become too big and too generic for its own good. We will see more of niche/targeted social networks and Myspace is clearly serious about claiming its own market share.