When advertising firm Specific Media bought Myspace – complete with investment from Justin Timberlake – it’s fair to say the most common reaction was a shrug. Dying brand, no chance of a comeback.
Yet if you thought of Myspace less as a falling social network, and more as (potentially) the largest music discovery site in the world, there was a glimmer of hope. Well, a video teaser of the new Myspace has fuelled that hope.
As one heavily-retweeted Twitter user put it: “Instagram + Pinterest + Windows 8 + Justin Timberlake = SexyBack”. It’s very beautiful, heavy on images, and light on clutter. Music remains a key ingredient too, with mixes, trending artists and songs, a radio option and a whole section spotlighting ‘This week’s Top Fans’.
Besides the obvious Pinterest comparison, we’re seeing elements of Vevo and music discovery site TheSixtyOne, as well as iPad app Aweditorium. It’s a world away from previous incarnations of Myspace, and even – whisper it – makes Facebook’s artist pages look a little old-hat.
(Albeit not to the extent that Facebook made old-school MySpace’s design look antiquated back in the day.)
There are plenty of unanswered questions about the new Myspace: this being a teaser video, we can’t drill down into its music features yet. Also, the video tells us very little about Myspace’s plans for smartphones and tablets, which will be crucial to its chances of making a successful comeback.
But the video has made Myspace seem cool again to the previously-sceptical tech-blogosphere. Next up, winning support from labels, artists and brands. And then, most importantly, from users.