If you’re like us, then your reaction to the new Myspace (yes, that’s a lowercase ‘s’) wouldn’t be “Oh wow, I’m super excited about this,” or “Yes! Justin Timberlake, FTW!” Don’t get us wrong, we’re not so apathetic towards everything that we find it hard to muster enthusiasm of any kind; nor are we such rabid anti-fans of Mr. Timberlake that we’ll scoff at anything he invests in. Fact is, we are still active Facebook users and, as far as the music stuff goes, we’re still very much satisfied with Spotify. Which leads us to ask: What unique things does this re-branded Myspace have to offer to its users – and can the site stay true to its main focus of connecting people through music?
Design-wise, we think Myspace did a good at job incorporating big visuals and making sure that the site has a gorgeous interface. Gone are the NSFW content, auto-playing songs, and spam accounts. Instead, you’ll be treated to a look that’s in tune with today’s web design, without sacrificing the music-centric functionalities that are sure to distinguish the site from other social networking platforms.
Another thing we like about the revamped Myspace is that it has got an impressive song library, which anyone can access for free. Now we’re not sure if the site is going to keep offering free access to its users, as we have a feeling that it’s going to take a page from Spotify’s book and charge for premium subscription after the free trial period has elapsed. But should new Myspace stay committed to offering music for free and finding another way to generate revenue, then we’re seriously going to consider dumping Spotify and other similar services.
The first incarnation of Myspace (when it was still spelled as MySpace) was lousy but popular because a soon-to-be Harvard dropout named Mark Zuckerberg has not yet provided netizens with an infinitely better choice. After it was gobbled up by Facebook, Myspace was redesigned to compete with the former – but failed miserably. The best thing about Myspace 3.0 – the fact that it is no longer trying to compete with Facebook – is also the worst thing about it. In its attempt to become cool and different, new Myspace has lost sight of what’s important in a social networking site: the ability to easily find and share content.
Myspace scrolls sideways, which a lot of people probably will not appreciate. The gorgeous interface is negated by jittery navigation. Music, after you listen to it, is meant to be shared and discussed. Myspace makes interaction complicated because content is hard to find unless you already know what you’re looking for (i.e. specific song titles, artist names, etc.). Myspace is visually appealing, but after the initial pleasant surprise, you’ll be asking yourself this question in a few minutes: what am I doing here again? Should you use Myspace to collect songs and build playlists? You’d be better off with sites like Spotify, Rdio, or Pandora. Music discovery leaves a lot to be desired. For example, try searching for Toll Free, a song by Plastilina Mosh and you won’t find it on MySpace’s library. Oh, and before we forget, some things never change: Myspace still crashes frequently.
They say that the third time’s the charm. But with the new Myspace, it’s more like a strike three. There’s a reason why Myspace, which was once worth more than $500 million, was only sold for $35 million to its current owners. Sorry JT, you’re not bringing Myspace back. You’ll probably end up crying a river.