The new Myspace: Could you be persuaded?

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  • September 26, 2012
Fi Dunphy

Fi Dunphy

Content and Social Strategist

The team here at B3 is comprised of music fans, social media enthusiasts and web geeks. When one of the guys in the office passed a link around the office to the new Myspace preview, a hot email debate ensued. People began throwing their tuppences all over the show, contesting why they believed that the new Myspace was either going to be the next huge thing – or tantamount to flogging a big dead cyber horse.

At least one person from each area of the business got involved, from social media strategists to content writers, link builders, data analysts, designers, developers, and senior SEO strategists. It seems that everyone has a strong opinion about the new direction of social media, especially when it comes to its impact on music… So we decided to turn it into a blog post.

We’d love you to continue the debate in the comments section below – what are your predictions for Myspace 2.0, and what impact do you reckon it will have on the social media space?

It looks lovely, but I don’t see what their thinking is here.

They’re not going to win people away from other networks – what reason would anyone have to want to leave their current home and go to Myspace?

The thing Myspace had going for it about five years ago was bands. Despite its flaws, it was the best way for bands to make their music easily accessible and to network with other bands and people. They should have focused totally on making their music player work, and giving bands and fans loads of reasons to stay on Myspace.

Instead, they’re trying to compete with Facebook. Idiots!

There you go, my two penne’th there.

Stephen Creek, Head of Social Media

Looks great. Seems like they’re carving out a decent niche in the music sphere. Looks like a fusion of music news and Pinterest with added social interaction.

Will be good to see how it works alongside Facebook.

Joe Griffiths, Inbound Strategist

Just can’t see it happening. Myspace earned itself a reputation for being saturated with rubbish, and it’ll take a lot to win people’s trust back.

The functionality all looks good, but it also looks pretty corporate.

I think music fans and people in bands will keep using ultra-useful sites like Bandcamp, Soundcloud and Grooveshark, because these sites give them an actual platform rather than a profile that is swallowed up within a giant network of spammy, poor-quality content.

Also, the landscape has changed since Myspace was successful. Spotify and have changed the way people consume music, and those two will be hard for Myspace to edge out.

Stephen Creek, Head of Social Media

I think it looks interesting – and yep, really pretty. Having looked into Medium and Branch (from the creators of Twitter) a few weeks ago, the new Myspace looks like it fits right in with the next generation of social platforms.

Social media 2.0 is coming – this looks like a good mix between Spotify, Pinterest and Facebook – it’s multi-functional, and doesn’t look like it’s going to rely on just one aspect of social sharing – it looks to be drawing on written, image, audio and video content – which is something its competitors don’t do comprehensively.

Yeah Steve, fair point about the photography aspect of new Myspace, but while new Myspace might not cut through the real underground, independent music market, does it have to?

Also, with tools like Instagram, bands can easily make some cool photos to go up there if it really does become the place to be. It’s really easy to create your own rich media these days, isn’t it? Plus lots of muso types tend know arty photographer types or be creative that way themselves anyway – you don’t have to be a big band to have a few nice shots done. This aspect might actually make people step up their game if they want to get noticed on somewhere like Myspace.

Fi Dunphy, Social Media & Content Strategist

I can’t stop ranting.

I am usually totally wrong when it comes to internet predictions, but I really struggle to see this new approach working, as nice as it looks.

I predict:

  • Celebs will be brought in to promote it, and a load of people will go over to see what they’re saying.
  • Then those people will realise that they can get all their celeb updates from Twitter, which they already use.
  • Some bands will start using it, but loads of others will reject it on the basis that Myspace has a huge reputation for dire sound quality, spam messages, and 14-year-old crunk bands using “friend blaster” tools to make themselves look bigger than Coldplay.

I just don’t see enough of a reason for people to go back to Myspace. Nostalgia? A mawkish yearning for it to be 2004 again? I don’t reckon so.

Stephen Creek, Head of Social Media

Looks like way less of a mess than the old Myspace, but they’re going to have a hard time winning anyone’s trust back because the old site ended up as a such a state.

Emma Barnes, Data Analyst

When you search “band + bandcamp” in Google, the SERPs display Myspace pages instead of Bandcamp pages as the top result:

Myspace hijacks Bandcamp searchers

… So Myspace is hijacking Bandcamp’s search traffic.

Bandcamp = win

MySpace = lose

Ping was better.

Stephen Kenwright, Outreach

I don’t think there’s enough in that video to really predict with any accuracy how it will pan out. Personally, I really like what I’ve seen of the new design. But at the end of the day, it all depends on how they plan on integrating it with other platforms, and whether that shiny new design has a decent user experience to go with it.

I’m going to reserve my judgement until I can have a proper play with it.

Max Shearer, Designer

Pretty much what Max said. And with the crowded space of Twitter, Facebook and Google+ – there is no room for another general social network for people who are already invested (like most of us). If they made it more music focused, would they take back some of the people they lost to the likes of SoundCloud? Who knows.

We’ll have to wait and see.

Julian Kay, Senior Software Developer

Interestingly, looking at the source code, you’ll be able to sign up with a Twitter/Facebook account it looks like, so surely that means they’re not levelling it as a competitor?

Douglas Radburn, Senior Web Developer

Clever girrl…

Jurassic Park's Robert Muldoon just before he gets eaten by raptors - "Clever girl..."









Fi Dunphy, Social Media & Content Strategist

Yes that is very interesting. While federating the authentication to something like Facebook or Twitter is cool and all, they’re still putting themselves out there as another destination to go to. It’s the number of destinations to go for social content that I’m already maxed out on! :)

Julian Kay, Senior Software Developer

It’s like asking people to start using mini disc players again. Or Soda Stream drinks makers.

It’s a platform that died a death because it was rubbish. It’ll take a miracle to get people saying “I’m on Myspace” without feeling a shudder of embarrassment.

Stephen Creek, Head of Social Media

I loved mini disc.

Douglas Radburn, Senior Web Developer

It launched with Reef – Naked as the soundtrack. What an awesome song.

Steve Shaw, Head of Digital

But… This looks like it’s going to be the next generation that Evan Williams & Biz Stone of Twitter are talking about with their aims for Medium and Branch. All the other places to go to for content are pretty one-dimensional, whereas sites like Medium, Branch, and possibly Myspace are much more well-rounded.

I wouldn’t be embarrassed to say I was on Myspace if it actually turned out to be as good as it looks – that’d be just cutting off my own nose to spite my face. I say well done for bothering to come back (given how utterly dire things were with the last version in the end), and I’m looking forward to giving it a go. Of course the platform’s going to have to be different to Myspace of old – it’s crazy to think that they wouldn’t put measures in place to prevent the spamming, because that would defeat the whole point of the reinvention.

But you’re right Jules & Max, judgement will probably have to be reserved – the user interface, usability and integration with other platforms will be crucial to its success, and that remains to be seen.

Fi Dunphy, Social Media & Content Strategist

The new one looks like they are trying to sell it around the music scene with the integrated music players and connecting to celebs and gigs. I think this is probably a good move to try and differentiate what they are for as opposed to going directly after Twitter or Facebook.

But if people already have playlists on iTunes, Spotify or, in the US, Google, then why would you want another place to share music and photos. If they really have a USP then perhaps they can get some share from the other social sites but I’m not too sure how easily they will be able to do this given people’s reluctance to jump on board with new social experiments.

Matthew Jackson, Head of Strategy

In my opinion, Myspace has two main USPs:

  • A platform that gives bands the opportunity to interact with their audiences in a very engaging way
  • A great platform for users to interact with content in a very social way.

I think success depends on the UI and getting big bands and artists that adopt it and use it heavily.

Joe Griffiths, Inbound Strategist

So this is the 4th redesign for Myspace? The problem is as Steve has mentioned, people are used to consuming music in a completely different format now be it from streaming on and Spotify to videos on YouTube and Vimeo.

Another key aspect in my opinion is that this seems to rely on major artists, but doesn’t take into account the huge communities that are out there and support unsigned artists such as on Pledge and Croon. However, I can also see Fi’s point that the look of the design seems the way to go based on Medium and Branch.

That said, it will be hard to tap into the conversation style that Twitter offers you and to me connecting through music is something that has been done before. Besides from watching the video it doesn’t go any further than the content that already exists for musicians/musical audiences.

If Myspace were to be a truly musical experience then it would be a combination of Soundcloud, Vimeo, YouTube, Croon, Pledge, Bandcamp, and consider the journey a musician goes on not the social networks that are big. Why Twitter and Facebook – these are not big music sites – they’re just where the audience is, so bands/artists/brands have to use them to engage with them.

In short, it’s hard to see based on the video what the revamped Myspace will offer that other sites (albeit a combination of sites) currently offer.

Mike Jeffs, Search Strategist

So there you have it – has this post stirred up any strong feelings about how you feel Myspace 2.0 is going to go, or how it’s going to change the social media sphere (if at all)? Comments below.. GO!

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