MySpace undergoes another facelift

 
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Ailing social network MySpace has announced its fourth major redesign as it seeks to regain relevance in the face of falling numbers.

The site, now part-owned by Justin Timberlake, aims to focus more on music and offer deeper integration with Facebook and Twitter.

But it faces stiff competition from online platforms offering to connect artists and fans.

According to measurement firm comScore, the MySpace audience is 54 million.

This is down from hundreds of millions at its peak in 2005.

A message on the website announced the redesign: "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," the message continued.

It called on fans to join "our brand new community" and offered a sneak preview of the redesign.

Those interested in joining were asked to leave an email contact and "expect an invite soon".

The new-look MySpace says it aims to put music at the heart. Users can control audio content from a navigation panel and pair photograph albums with playlists in a kind of social media mix tape to mark any occasion.

A Discover tab within the navigation panel will offer access to trending artists, music, mixes, radio, videos, news, and forthcoming concerts. The items can be dragged into personal folders.

There is also an emphasis on what's called Artist Pages, with the promise of lots of tracks, albums and videos.

Band platform

MySpace was sold to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp empire in 2005.

It paid $580m (£361m) for the social network but users and advertisers left the site for rival social sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The site underwent a major makeover in 2010, rebranding itself as a "social entertainment site".

But it was not enough and in June 2011, News Corp sold it to online advertiser Specific Media at a huge loss.

A further rebrand after the sale promised it would become "the number one online community music destination".

Music and media analyst Mark Mulligan said he thought this latest rebrand was the "deepest" yet.

"At its peak, MySpace was a trailblazer for bringing together fans and artists but it faces stiff competition from sites such as TopSpin and Pledge Music which offer artists tools to establish relationships with fans," he said.

"It can't just do what they used to do even if they do it better," he said.

"It has to offer artists a reason why they would go there rather than on Facebook. It needs to become a social platform for bands and not just an alternative to Facebook," he said.

 

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  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 104.

    I left myspace years ago because it was full of fake accounts that spammed you all the time and everyones personalised home pages made them seem way to deperate for attention. Its too late for Myspace to be saved because to many people have switched to facebook and twitter. I can't see many people switching back because it doesn't have anything to offer that you can't get else where

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 103.

    As a musician, I used Myspace a lot. It was great for hearing original music & letting others hear yours. It worked well in advertising live performances. I liked being able to design my own pages etc.

    In my view 2 things killed it, Murdoch & X-Factor. When Murdoch took over they tried to turn into a new facebook, removing much of the quirky fun stuff. X-Factor killed interest in original music.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 82.

    I tried to put some of my music on MySpace a while back. Nothing worked as advertised and it was impossible to get any help with problems. Now I've set it all up with Facebook and Soundcloud, MySpace will have to come up with something completely new if they expect to use them when I have no need to - a 'Facebook II' will not work.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 74.

    MySpace could work well if it focuses on being a platform for projects - bands, artists, films, that kind of thing. It was good for that stuff but then seemed to shift its design and functions more towards those who were using it as a social networking site, who have since abandoned it.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 20.

    MySpace was fine until NewsCorp started messing around with it: it suddenly became less "My" Space, and more "My Friend's Space", with stuff I wanted to post relegated to a tiny panel at the side, and posts from others given loads of room in the middle. Bad design killed it, and is why everyone left. The new design looks like someone learned that lesson. I wish it well.

 

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