My Space is back, apparently! Or is it Justin'sSpace?
If you hadn’t realized it had gone, and don’t care where it’s been, then you are not alone. Time rolls on, websites as with music come and go, and in IT comebacks are far less likely than in music. MySpace boasted 132 million active users in 2008, but has steadily fallen out of favor with users, clocking only 10.5 million users in November 2012.
Having seen its hay day come and go MySpace has made several attempts at reinvention, to no avail. Now, with ex-teenie-bopper, Justin Timberlake (who kind of retired from music five years ago) and new owners, Specific Media, on board the old MySpace mare is having another go. Some commentators guess that trying to flog the old beast back to life may be as useful a challenge as bringing back the minidisk player (big questions about how relevant it is with other flashier and more ‘social’ options available), but they have a nifty trick to hook you in.
On the new front page a dashing, yet slightly annoyed looking, Timberlake beckons users to “Simply sign in to hear the first track from his forthcoming album.” If you don’t have an account of course you need to create one to see the track (gone are the days of just listening to music). And if you don’t like Justin Timberlake they may have lost you already.
Reviews of the new site are mixed, but the fact that “the redesign is all about putting the music front and center” seems like a sound reinvestment in the original ethos of MySpace, as a site for real music lovers. But is it enough to turn its lost fortunes around?
Myspace was one of the first social networks to blow up back when Zuckerberg was fresh out of high school. Founded in 2005, it went on to become the world’s first truly influential social media site, before being overtaken by Facebook in 2008. Since then it has been in steady decline, despite several major updates and re-releases. The company’s celebrity stakeholder, Justin Timberlake, will certainly be hoping his investment comes good. The rest of us, wearying of ‘social stress’, may be more non-fussed.