Partying like it’s 2005
Bringing sexy back
This week Mickey-Mouse-Club-frontchild-turned-social-media-mogul Justin Timberlake unveiled the new-look MySpace.
It’s basically a platform for expressing your creative tastes and an engine for exploring them. Pair playlists of songs with photographs. Create virtual scrapbooks. Sample the music others are listening to. Check out the video here.
Cry me a river?
It’s a move not without its naysayers. After all, can you realistically reverse a decline from the most visited site on the web (2008) to No161 (2012)? In 2010, after all, its new logo design was described as ‘the final nail in an empty coffin’. Nice.
The negative view: the new MySpace is pretty but fundamentally pointless. Facebook has eaten its social networking lunch, music exploration services such as Spotify have nicked its music recommendation …err…dinner. What matters is content and utility. MySpace doesn’t have a prayer.
Or, what comes around... goes around?
I’m not so sure.
Firstly, I can’t help but think that great design in social media is a competitive advantage. Facebook is, after all, bloody ugly and crowded.
Secondly, it’s open. Like Pinterest it’s designed to complement rival networks, rather than oppose them.
Thirdly, it’s focused, rather than trying to replicate Facebook (a la Google+). As Facebook reaches saturation point, I have a theory that it will become more and more like ITV for brands – always the biggest network (and so essential for reach), but not particularly smart for targeting niche audiences and likely to decline slowly as those niches move elsewhere.
Finally, it’s top-down, not bottom-up. I quite like the fact that, unlike other social networks, it’s not pretending to be democratic. Music isn’t democratic – there are leaders and there are followers. By launching with JT, and the promise of more artists to come, a more top-down approach to social media may well pay dividends.
I’m off to buy shares in Bebo.