We all remember the days when snapping narcissistic photos in a mirror was the “cool” thing to do. Shockingly, many years have passed since Myspace mania petered out and we bid our adieus to our first friend, Tom. Since then, popular platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have surfaced as top social media contenders; distancing enough space and time to memorialize Myspace as the Grandaddy of social networking.
However, they’re not out of the picture quite yet.
It looks like Myspace is re-inventing themselves with the help of an entirely new design. The improved site has been wrapped, packaged and re-labeled for its premiere unveiling. We present to you: the “New Myspace”
A Myspace Recap
Myspace was launched in August 2003 from Beverly Hills, California. It was acquired by News Corporation in July 2005 for $580 million.
From 2005 until early 2008, Myspace was the most visited social networking site in the world, attracting 75.9 million unique visitors a month at its 2008 peak. It surpassed Google as the most visited website in the United States in 2006.
In April 2008, Myspace was overtaken by Facebook in the number of unique worldwide visitors, and was surpassed in the number of unique U.S. visitors in May 2009, though Myspace generated $800 million during the 2008 fiscal year.
In June 2009, Myspace employed approximately 1,600 workers. Since then the company has undergone several rounds of layoffs and by June 2011, Myspace had reduced its staff to around 200.
Since then, the number of Myspace users has declined steadily in spite of several redesigns. MySpace reached its lowest point of membership in 2010. They lost half of their monthly visitors in just one year.
However, since introducing their new new music player, the site has signed up ONE MILLION new users.
“We went from zero signups per day to 40,000,” said Chris Vanderhook, the company’s chief operating officer.
It looks like New Myspace is finally marching to the beat of their (refurbished) drums.
He’s Bringing Sexyback? More like Myspace
Justin Timberlake has since matured from his ‘N Sync image. In 2011, Timberlake and Specific Media Group joint purchased the Myspace company for an estimated $35 million, This was just a fraction of what News Corp. had paid, six years prior. Looks like the investment is paying off:
In June 2012, Myspace had only 25 million unique U.S. visitors.
As of January 2013, Myspace was ranked 215 by total web traffic.
A New Ambition
Myspace served as the first real medium of social networking. Despite its decline in popularity over the last few years, the New Myspace may create its own niche in the entertainment sector, as the re-vamped platform hosts a multitude of musical and gaming features.
Myspace is not likely to regain their previous demographic of users, as they’ve moved on to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest, but that can prove advantageous in their favor. By reinstating their brand and appeal, the site has since generated an estimated 20 million users per month.
A “lick of paint” has done Myspace some good. On the surface, the new site is both visually-appealing and user-friendly. Now an entertainment discovery tool, Myspace projects a mature and professional image, and offers a slew of multimedia features, along with a sleek design.
The Sounds of Music
MySpace is revolutionizing its musical roots. The company has full licensing deals with thousands of record labels, and has a library of 53 million tracks and 13K songs, uploaded daily; far more than new competitors such as Spotify or Rhapsody.
Furthermore, the Myspace player offers:
- Unlimited, on-demand listening to both established and unsigned artists
- Personalized radio modes
- Credible recommendation engine
Myspace continues to serve as a catalyst for new artists, trying to connect to a larger consumer audience.
“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.” – New Myspace Mission Statement.
In order for Myspace’s redirected goals to succeed, they must continue with a complete reset of the brand, while opening up to a wider audience. Additionally, the site needs to promote a different “selling” product than before, while remaining on neutral, non-competitive ground with other social media sites.
At the end of the day, the success of Myspace is largely dependent upon the response of social media users. With over 1 billion Facebook users, 625,000 users joining Google+ per day and 575 Instagram likes each second, it’s hard to believe they haven’t thrown in the towel already! We can only surmise that Mr. Timberlake saw potential in the prototype social network that the rest of us have evidently overlooked.