myspace wants to embarass you
June 3, 2014

MySpace Wants You Back, And It’s Sending Out Old Photos To Lure You In

Peter Suciu for - Your Universe Online

Social media site MySpace has launched a novel campaign to get users back – and as Mashable's Kurt Wagner reports, "it requires a little blackmail." The not-quite-social-network has reportedly begun emailing users old photos in hopes of enticing them to return.

"Your Photos are Back!" read the subject line of the ominous marketing emails. These emails then included a photo or two along with the not-so-subtle message, "The good, the rad and the what were you thinking."

The emails also included a link that takes users back to their profile.

Wagner reports that it isn't clear if this strategy is working, but notes that a spokesperson said, "MySpace has been reaching out to current and past users to re-engage them through a personalized experience."

According to online reports, MySpace could have a lot of potentially embarrassing photos to choose from – and the highly cited number online is that this figure is north of 15 billion user photos in its database.

This is not the only thing that the social media site has been doing to attract old and more importantly new users. MySpace has been striving to make a comeback since 2011 when Justin Timberlake and Specific Media bought the company from News Corp. for a reported $35 million. Soon after the site was given a new, modern look and increased its focus on music.

As Facebook overtook MySpace in the social media arena, MySpace had increasingly attempted to reinvent itself as a place for bands to post new music and connect directly with fans. This increased after Timberlake and Specific Media completed the purchase.

Specific Media re-launched the site as a streaming radio service/music news site and social network for music fans. The Washington Post also reported that since its re-launch the service boasted of a library of two million music videos and some 52 million songs. These could all be organized into user- and artist-curated playlists.

The new MySpace was also apparently designed for a different generation of devices if not entirely a different generation of users. redOrbit reported last year, "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."

Last year MySpace spent around $20 million on an ad campaign to get users excited in these changes.

The question now is whether going the blackmail route will work – or at least more than say having a massive library of music and videos. As Caitlin Dewey noted for the Washington Post, music features are somewhat redundant as Spotify and Pandora each provide ways to hear music and Twitter and Facebook offer ways to follow artists as well.

Maybe the photos will do the trick.

"Nostalgia, after all, is a powerful drug," Dewey wrote for the Washington Post. "Perhaps the site can't convince old users to rejoin for the playlists or the think pieces, but there's always the bittersweet thrill of the past!"

"With the younger generation Myspace has lost its appeal," Wanda Meloni, principal analyst and founder of M2 Research told redOrbit. "There are so many different social networking choices now it is incredible hard to gain traction or the needed mind share for something else, especially if it doesn't provide anything really new."