January 16, 2013
Myspace Crowns Its Re-Launch With New Justin Timberlake Single
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
If Justin Timberlake were known for his role in rival boy band Backstreet Boys, then we´d all be coming up with better headlines about Myspace coming back. Unfortunately, members of the tech press are stuck claiming Timberlake brought the sexy “back” to Myspace, although it´s debatable whether the site ever had any sexy to begin with.
It´s also entirely likely that this service wouldn´t have made it as far as it had if it weren´t for the singer/actor who bought the company in 2011, pumping more cash into the dying brand and creating just enough curiosity to bring people back once more, just to see what all the hubbub is about.
In September, Timberlake managed to lure people back to Myspace once again, allowing only beta access to the site to those curious enough to sign up for a spot. Yesterday, The Verge reported that the site was now open for all, showing off its undoubtedly expensive UI changes and horizontal scrolling. Timberlake also took advantage of his enterprises by releasing his new single — entitled “Suit and Tie” — for streaming on his newly redesigned social network.
Interestingly, the old Myspace.com address directed users to the old site yesterday after the new site had gone live to the public. This has since been fixed. Myspace.com now directs you to New.Myspace.com, further reminding users that this is something new, associated with the classy and very GQ Timberlake, not that awful looking nerd Tom who was so hard up for friends.
Rather than try to compete directly against the other social networks out there, the new Myspace allows users to sign in through their Facebook and Twitter accounts. The old Myspace credentials still work as well, and new users can alternatively choose to keep their Myspace profile completely separate from these other social sites.
As noted in September, the new Myspace is almost entirely focused on music. This is a natural transition, as the old Myspace had evolved into the best way to discover new and upcoming artists, even launching several artists into their 15 minutes of fame.
Signing up for the new Myspace is relatively painless, allowing new users to make a few quick additions to their profile before opening access to the entire site. The site also asks users why they´re there, either as bands, photographers, brands and the like, or as simple curators and fans.
The horizontal scrolling sets this site apart from the others as does an ever-present music bar at the bottom of the screen. Here, users can listen to “radio” stations based on artists or genres. Any songs the user listens to can show up in their profile — a nice or frightening feature, depending on how open you might be about your musical tastes.
As before, users can follow bands, artists or each other. These days, it´s referred to as a “connection,” symbolized by two interlocking circles. This icon appears throughout the site, allowing users to connect at the click of a button.
The new Myspace was clearly designed with smartphones and tablets in mind, as the new site actually works even better on an iPad than a desktop machine. It´s clear that Mr. JT has invested heavily in this redesign as well as in the licensing rights to stream radio. As it stands, the new Myspace is an attractive website with some potential for functionality. However, as these things go, it´s yet to be seen if people will actually continue using the site or move back to Facebook after the sexy has died down a bit. Once this happens, it may be nigh impossible to bring the sexy back once more, even for the likes of Justin Timberlake.