I just got an invite to the new Myspace and if my first impression could be summed up in one word, it would be sexy. Besides my gorgeous profile, which blends well with my website due to custom backgrounds, what really impresses me is what’s not there.
So far, the new Myspace doesn’t ask for much personal information.
Rather than getting every single piece of information out of you for ad sales, there’s a much bigger emphasis on sharing music, making playlists, and connecting with artists. This isn’t surprising, considering music has been the main reason for the relevance that Myspace has maintained as of the past few years. Here’s a breakdown of some of the features in the new design.
- The Stream – It’s beautiful and reminiscent of Pinterest, but it isn’t fully image driven. The side scrolling may take some getting used to at first, but it’s a unique concept, at least more so than it seemed in the preview video. If asked, I would say that I prefer this look to the look of Facebook’s and Twitter’s feeds.
- The Music Player – This is my favorite part of the website. The catalog reminds me a lot of project playlist, but with more social features. I think I may be leaving my Spotify account soon if this carries into the mobile version. Music can be played freely from what I’ve tried so far, and music videos appear in the bottom right of your screen or can be played full screen. The music and videos keep playing as you change pages in the website. With a music and video experience this seemless, I wouldn’t be surprised if Myspace became a large contender to Youtube.
- Connections – The new Myspace connections function is simple: A symbol of two circles combined like a Venn Diagram appears over profile pictures. Once you hover over it, you’re given the option to “Connect” to the person. From a few tests, I found that you can choose to require approval for those trying to connect with you. Connections are one way, like a Twitter or Google Plus Follow, or like a Facebook subscribe. A friend of mine connected to my page, sending me a notification and filling only one of the circles. I then connected to him, and the both circles were filled. Once you connect to a person, their statuses show up in your stream.
- The Profile – Profiles are minimal in design, but can be made to look great with the right background. A quick look at the design reminds me of About.me, but as you scroll, a status stream is revealed. I uploaded a picture into my second status with ease.
- Mobile – I tried viewing the site on my Android phone, only to be greeted by the landing page for email invites. My guess is they’re still working on the mobile platform.
There aren’t any “ads” on the current version of Myspace.
This means there aren’t ads in the traditional sense. When looking for a new music artist or person to connect with, there are artists and people “featured” on these pages, but I’m not sure if these were paid for, or they’re just popular people and artists.
I think this is a huge step in the right direction for the new Myspace. It brings a strong social presence to music that isn’t done nearly as well by other websites, and I love that it allows you to keep up with your favorite music artists in the same way as Twitter while indulging your ears in their music at the same time. The social music niche is filled in different ways by playlist and tube sites, but the new Myspace seems to combine the best of all of them. I’m eager to see what functions (if any) will come in the way of brand pages, as well as the kind of stats and insights can be gained for social marketing purposes. Is it enough to dethrone Facebook or Twitter? My opinion is that it sets out to do either totally. The lack of detailed profile information, family information, groups, etc. separates this from Facebook. The stream seems to replicate Twitter’s though, and in a much prettier way. If the latest news headlines about Facebook have proved anything, it’s that mobile is going to play a major part in the success of any social platform. If they keep their focus on a great music experience, the lovely interface, and the dazzling speed of this preview, I wouldn’t be surprised if Myspace reaches and improves on its former glory as a social media giant.