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Myspace Goes Back To The Future?

Art + Design | Blog | Web + Social

Charlie | Monday 25th, 2010, 12:00am BST

MySpace launched in the US in 2004, the product of former eUniverse employees who saw an opportunity to expand on the potential of social networking site Friendster. Within two years of going live, MySpace was purchased by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation for a reported ¬†$580million. In January 2006 a UK-specific version of the site was launched and¬†by August of that year MySpace had signed up its 100-millionth account. In 2007 mini-exodus’ began to occur as users started migrating to Facebook, dragging their friend networks with them so that in July 2008 the momentum of the Facebook juggernaut eclipsed ¬†MySpace by its number of unique visitors per month (the yardstick by which such things are measured) and MySpace has been in terminal decline ever since. Several redesigns and an increased emphasis on music have done nothing to stem the hemorrhaging of visitors, so in ¬†July 2010 News Corp started taking pitches from agencies to rebrand the site. In September it was announced that¬†Pereira & O’Dell of San Francisco¬†had won the assignment, and in October a new logo for the site was launched: my___ . So why has there been a myspacerebrand.com online since May? The myspacerebrand presents a new direction for¬†myspace, dropping the capitalised ‘M’ and ‘S’, in a series of videos on the homepage. They’re quick to announce the end to customisable homepages, meaning that visiting a friends MySpace page will no longer run the risk of feeling ¬†like walking into a teenager’s bedroom saturated with photos, unreadable flashing text and roaring, intrusive music. Instead, the new myspace has a cleaner, slicker and ultimately more inviting interface. While a lot of emphasis is still given to musicians, writers and visual artists are now more directly catered to, with creative software suites embedded in the site enabling users to collaborate uniquely online. If for some reason an account holder doesn’t feel talented enough that they fit into one of these groups, then there is a fan section so that people can follow, support, and generally keep abreast of all the things that their favourite myspace artists are doing and take part in fan challenges. The new myspace also intends to produce an annual publication called Slab to showcase the best of the visual creative work that artists have created during that year through the new myspace platform. A new look and a new emphasis is a path that MySpace has trod almost feverishly since it lost the Social Networking crown to Facebook, but a creative portal that provides the tools for people to begin making their original work in collaboration with a global community of artists would undoubtedly pique the interest of creative up-and-comers and help myspace to reposition itself with a niche offering. Which is something of a shame, because the myspacerebrand site has nothing to do with MySpace whatsoever. It is in reality the outcome of four students’ work on a project at The Creative Circus in Atlanta, Georgia, a fact which took some degree of digging in order to clarify. So with that digital double-take finally cleared up we now wonder how the Pereira & O’Dell official MySpace rebrand will develop and wonder whether a dry-run by four students from Atlanta will have any bearing on the finished product?