The New Myspace According to Justin Timberlake | Mt Kisco NY Realtor

Although Facebook and Twitter currently dominate the world of social networks, their management probably understand all too well that today’s industry leader can be tomorrow’s joke. Just ask the early adopters and investors in Friendster about how that went. One social network that had all the visitors and content before Mark Zuckerberg’s company drew international attention was Myspace. Back in its heyday Myspace was the place to be, not only for friends and hopeful daters, but artists and musicians plying their wares as well. Myspace has since spectacularly faded away, and for the last several years was only useful for musicians with a core demographic of tween listeners. But last year Specific Media, an advertising network based in Orange County, California bought Myspace for a paltry $35 million, a sure steal of a company that once was worth upwards of $65 billion. And when music and film superstar Justin Timberlake announced he had purchased an ownership stake in the company, a real curiosity began to swarm around the site. On Thursday the first questions were answered, as Timberlake unveiled the first look at a redesigned Myspace, which he oversaw as a leading creative force.

If you remember anything about Myspace, you probably remember how unattractive it was. Pages were clogged with banner ads, and those die-hards who continued to use the site found that their postings landed in the equivalent of an online ghost town. Under Timberlake’s guidance the development team completely scrapped the old site and redesigned it from the ground up. That’s an important distinction, as the new ownership recognize it’s going to take a huge amount of work to turn public opinion about Myspace around. And according to Tim Vanderhook, the CEO of Specific Media, that’s exactly what they plan to do. He acknowledged the great skepticism they will face, and declared that their first mission is to show the online community exactly why they should revisit Myspace.

Based on the unveiled site and the core constituency Myspace was able to hold on to, this new mission will be continuing to help new artists connect with and win over fans. Once Myspace began losing users in droves to Facebook, this was really the only dynamic that still worked. In fact, a survey of users completed last year found that more than 50% of those left on Facebook were hoping to be ‘discovered’. And with Timberlake’s help, this is exactly what Myspace will be about.

The site will give users free music from independent artists, small record labels and the majors alike. Users will create profiles that help them discover music they will enjoy, and artists’ profiles will be designed to help them aggregate fans. And then fans and artists can personally interact, either through private messages or through a Myspace “Connect”, which is basically the same as a “Like” or “Follow” on the other social networks. According to Timberlake, the ease of interaction will empower artists to a sustainable future, and a closer relationship with their fans.

News from the test run of the website was generally positive. The magazine-style layout was clean and smooth, and the images were impeccable. The navigation bar has a music player built-in, and you can continue to listen to songs even as you browse the site. Upgraded browsing functions such as “Discover” will help you find specific types of music or music news, utilizing an algorithm based on your connections and browsing habits and a curated list of suggestions from the staff. There will be no ads whatsoever once the beta launch is complete, although Timberlake did leave the door open for advertisers to come on board. However, those ads will have to be seamlessly integrated in the site, meaning brands will have their work cut out for them if MySpace again becomes a player in the social media game.

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