Myspace Puts On a New Face

It may be a little late, but former social media star, Myspace, is back with a new design. A nice video overview of the site is available on Vimeo.

Myspace was viewed as “the future” when News Corp. bought it in 2005. But it quickly fell into obscurity, eclipsed almost immediately by Facebook, which has become the social media venue of choice for all humankind. A complete history of Myspace is available on Wikipedia.

With its new design, it will be interesting to see if Myspace can recapture some of the social media onslaught it helped create. The new look features large photos (which everyone loves), fun page effects, and a side-scrolling interface. However, it’s hard to imagine how any website can head off the FB juggernaut, much less a “new” Myspace. But this is the Internet, where things change quickly, and the unexpected is always possible.

For two contrasting views on the new Myspace we have TechCrunch presenting the thumbs-down, and Engadget, the thumbs up.

Any product or service can go from fad to wildly popular, find its peak, and then fade if it stops innovating or something better replaces it. Comebacks are another story. Once something is branded, is it possible to be anything else? Perhaps the people who bought Myspace from News Corp. would be better off renaming it and not bringing back the negative aura.

To a certain extent, Myspace is reminiscent of another superstar that merged with a traditional media company, fizzled, and came back under its own name, but never regained its past glory. That would be AOL, which has been on the fringes ever since, and never really had a chance with its outdated business model. But social media is all the rage now. Everyone’s social savvy and people try new things. Will trying a refreshed Myspace catch on? Or will it be like just putting on an old shirt from the ’90s? Maybe if it had a new name?