Should We All Be Using the New MySpace?
4 months ago
The site is music-focused, but it could help brand you, too
Boasting 42 million unique visitors by 2006 -- a number that represented a whopping 329 percent increase from the year prior (otherwise known as overnight) -- MySpace managed to beat out undeniable Internet necessity Google Search with its simple, yet largely customizable service (the feature that was its sweet spot); even the non-tech-savvy hunkered down to learn HTML coding just so they could mold their profiles into made-to-order online versions of themselves.
Bulletins and blogs were posted, photo albums and music playlists created, "top friends" rearranged, flashy wallpaper and inspirational quotes plastered. And we loved it.
Former Facebook president and Napster co-founder Sean Parker blamed MySpace's "failure to execute product development." The New York Times noted that its "aesthetic came to be seen as cluttered and unwieldy." Forbes said the site "diverted its attention to serving eyeballs to advertisers." Even Tom Anderson, the former president and founder of MySpace (you may remember him as your default first "friend") said, "'Safety' hysteria destroyed MySpace in the press. It got MySpace banned from schools . . . and by well-meaning parents who had been terrorized by what they were reading."
But now MySpace is back with a clean redesign (side scroll, folks!), and a new co-owner (have you heard of Justin Timberlake?), and an identity that leverages what it best provides users -- a "music discovery destination." So, equipped with the biggest library in digital music (42 million songs, nearly three times larger than Spotify), it shouldn't be hard for MySpace to come out on top, right? Right.
In fact, six months after young investors Tim and Chris Vanderhook bought the site for $35 million from News Corporation in June 2012, the site has gained 1 million new users, averaging 40,000 accounts per day—that's up from zero, mind you.
MySpace members can now listen to radio, albums and music videos in their entirety, enjoy celebrity-curated music mixes and tunes that are trending, all while discovering artists on the rise and influential industry folk -- and all for free.
But, try browsing and searching for fellow users by their profession (as you can by users' age, gender, location or music interests, too) and you'll have to select a filter first from a list of options including job titles like "musician," "DJ," "producer," "photographer," "filmmaker" and "comedian." What isn't offered as a selection is, say, "financial adviser," "human resources director" or "web editor."