Last week MySpace announced plans to re-launch the social media platform that we knew and loved only a few years ago. Based on the accompanying video, MySpace 2.0 looks sleek, shiny and fresh borrowing the best bits of everything from Facebook to Tumblr to Spotify. After the disastrous launch of Google+, what can we expect from a resurrected MySpace? Will it be enough to take on the Facebook giant?
MySpace got its start in 2003. Its popularity grew due to its user-friendly interface and ability to customize profiles. The site gave its users everything from their own photo albums to blogs. It was everything in one. Musicians loved MySpace as it gave them a place to both host songs and keep fans informed of tour dates and news.
I loved MySpace. I could easily lock down my profile making it only accessible to friends. I loved the bulletin feature. MySpace allowed me to stay abreast of my friends' activity in a very non-intrusive way.
MySpace fell out of fashion sometime around 2008. Once Facebook opened its doors to everyone, there was a max exodus from MySpace. In a desperate struggle to keep up with its number one competitor, the site changed its format to something bulky and confusing. MySpace has turned into a cyber graveyard -- millions of ghost profiles that haven't been active for years. A recent Google search of myself (What? I have to make sure no one's tarnishing my name!) revealed my old MySpace profile last touched in 2009. I probably held onto that website longer than most.
And now it's back from the dead. Personally, I was impressed by MySpace's relaunch video. The format is exciting and I think if the launch is executed properly, MySpace could once again be a cool Internet hangout. With its near weekly privacy breaches, Facebook is losing users. I long ago broke ties with the social networking behemoth. Many of my friends have expressed that it is exhausting trying to keep on top of Facebook's constant changes regarding privacy settings. Thus, they're ready to deactivate their profiles and move on.
Many of us were excited about the launch of Google+ but sadly it didn't catch on. What's the point of a social network without friends? Obviously MySpace could suffer the same fate. What exactly made us all abandon MySpace and hop aboard Facebook? At the end of the day, people want something that is easy to use. In its early incarnations, Facebook gave us just that. Though I severed ties with Facebook almost a year ago, I know that it is turning into a clunky mess like MySpace during its death rattle. But will this improved MySpace be as user friendly as Facebook claims to be? Will our grandparents be signing up for accounts? My opinion is no. Though the launch video is dazzling I don't see MySpace attracting the same audience as Facebook.
I predict that MySpace 2.0 will become the Internet home of the hip younger crowd eager to share new music, movie trailers and blogs. Even after MySpace had been deserted, bands continued to use the site and some of us continued to visit their pages. This re-launch won't be the great hero slaying the Facebook dragon but I don't predict that it will be a complete failure either. Many people are over Facebook and ready for an alternative. MySpace just might have what it takes to meet that need.