You may have heard the latest buzz about a redesign for social networking site underdog, Myspace. In the last 48 hours I've read tons of opinions on the "MySpace-lift", and those that have surprised me the most are negative. For the past two years Facebook has towered over its competitors while offering little in the way of positive change for its users, but with MySpace's recent preview of their upcoming redesign it looks like we might finally receive the online social experiences we've been seeking. Here are four reasons why I think the site's virtual revamp won't go unnoticed.
1. It's Visually Centered:
This is first on my list for a reason. Like it or not, we are shifting into a visual age online. Photos and videos are constantly being uploaded and shared around the web. Smart phones allow us to capture and post videos and images instantly, and people are taking advantage of that. Photo sharing sites like Pinterest and Instagram are moving to the forefront of social media. Not only are people posting visual content, but the quality continues to get better, raising user expectations for images and audio/video online.
2. Creative Layout:
Though most social sites do focus on visual content, the new MySpace takes it to the next level. It's not enough to allow users to upload photos and video anymore. The way users are able to layout/interact with their content is what sets a site apart and adds interest. It's these little surprises and customizations that can captivate people and make a MySpace profile page someone's "personalized space".
3. Backed by Entertainment Heavy Hitters:
MySpace was bought by NewsCorp in 2005 instantly giving the site an exclusive link to the company's television and movie tycoon 20th Century Fox. What better way to promote a new TV series than on a social network filled with interested creatives? You may have also heard that Justin Timberlake invested money in the site last year and has played a part in the redesign. His involvement adds to the hype with the younger crowd and perhaps site credibility for interested musicians and celebrities.
4. International Opportunities:
According to an interview in the Sydney Morning Herald, the new MySpace will focus more on addressing new audiences, like Africa. The article also mentioned a potential to reach the market in China, as MySpace has not experienced as many censorship issues there as some others have. Reaching out to new regions would be very beneficial for gaining and keeping new users. And it goes without saying that being able to market to China would certainly be advantageous.
I expect that there will be initial pushback with the redesign. There are people who are too comfortable with their current networks and don't want to switch, or those who don't see a need for MySpace, or are just skeptical about the whole site in general. These thoughts are clearly understandable. It seems like there's a social network out there for every person you could imagine. But I believe that as far as the future of the user experience for social networks, MySpace is the place to look.
Watch a video preview of the new MySpace here.
What are your thoughts on the new MySpace? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Mark Chapman, Radar Communication