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New MySpace Touts Apple Design, No Ad Clutter, and Lots of Justin Timberlake

In 2011, Justin Timberlake and Specific Media bought the dying music social network MySpace away from News Corp. for just $35 million. I say just $35 million because News Corp. originally invested $580 million to the music site a few years prior to that when the site was still very popular.

Justin started to hype up the new MySpace redesign this past September, but today was the official launch of the full redesign for all users, and it helps that it's also the same week Justin is promoting his new single "Suit and Tie" with rap artist Jay-Z.

The sign-in page features the new single (the new MySpace anthem, maybe?) and has a clear, clutter-free design many have associated with Apple products. 

 

Maybe it was the lure of JT, or the lure of his bowtie, but I was curious enough to sign up for the site (or, re-sign-up since MySpace was #1 before Facebook) and check out what exactly it has to offer.

It is still music-centric. In fact, when you sign-up it not only allows you to connect with Facebook or Twitter (definitely can boost sign-ups) but it immediately asks you to associate with being a photographer, writer, musician, artist, etc. Justin can probably tout himself as all of the above and it sets the tone that this is a space for creative minds - just like Vimeo has done to set themselves apart from YouTube.

The horizontal scrolling isn't entirely new. It's something that bloggers have played around with before (like Internet celeb Julia Allison through her now-abandoned blog NonSociety). 

You can pull certain artists down into a playlist. Honestly, I tend to use Vevo more than YouTube because I think their playlist set-up is much easier and I don't have to dig through 1,000 videos of funny cats and laughing babies to find music videos. So maybe MySpace is another alternative to YouTube by only being music and giving a more focused outlet to find independent artists - something you can't do on VeVo.

What does this mean for dealers?

Just because this is a music-centric site doesn't mean you shouldn't be paying attention. Here are the key aspects of the new MySpace that are important to you and your business.

1. Design - Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and now MySpace have very simple and clean designs - again, just like Apple products have made themselves famous with. If your consumers are looking at simplistic and user-friendly designs all day long, why would a cluttered dealer's homepage with pop-up windows and flashing pictures pull them in? There are 2 major focuses for dealers in 2013 - clean designs that offer more conversion and are mobile-friendly. Speaking of mobile....

2. Think mobile - horizontal scrolling, what does that remind you of? Oh, how about the easiest way to use a tablet? I don't think that was by coincidence, and you should take note of how your website looks like on mobile. Don't just "have a mobile site" and think you're "doing mobile" as if it's a checkbox on a list you only have to look at once. Test your mobile design on friends and family, ask for feedback. Does it offer clear conversion paths? Does it fit on all mobile devices?

3. Social-friendly images win - If PinterestVimeo and Instagram taught us anything this past year, it is that social-friendly images always win. And no, photos of your happy customers or cars on your lot aren't exactly suitable for Pinterest or Instagram although in context they are much needed on Facebook and Twitter. But I go back to my note about design.

The Internet is teaching people to be more creative and at all times, so what is your dealership doing to push out more creative, unique, and social-friendly content, whether an image, video, or blog? Stock photos won't do. Templated content won't do. The bar is constantly being raised for businesses to keep up and stay ahead by offering the same and if not better content that the average consumer has been easily creating themselves.

Did you join the new MySpace? What are your thoughts? 

Christine Rochelle, PCG

christine@pcgmailer.com

732-450-8200

Views: 327

Tags: digital, marketing, media, myspace, social

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Comment by Big Tom LaPointe on January 19, 2013 at 10:55pm

clean design, no ad clutter, Justin timberlake - 2 out of 3 ain't bad LOL! wise tips for stores. I love the simple new look, but it's quite a bit 'me too' clearly lifted from fb / twitter. sadly, I couldn't get it to send me my password reminder.

 

Tom LaPointe
CarChat24
Interactive Media Manager / Industry Analyst
http://www.carchat24.com/
24/7 Interactive Automotive Dealer Website Chat Solutions
Hosted or In-House Options
727-638-0195

Comment by Alexander Lau on January 16, 2013 at 11:09am

LOL! I think that's what MySpace is banking on, but I doubt it. Yeah, there's a reason Facebook bought Instagram for a cool $1B. Twitter is just babble and to follow the meaningless entries popular, star-like, Hollywood figures spew. That following for that age.


Facebook forced Instagram users to allow it to sell their uploaded photos. Move means pictures could be used in advertising, with all payments going to social media giant. You'll see more of that in the future. Facebook bought Instagram because it was growing rapidly. The photo-sharing service was about two years old and had around 33,000,000 users at the time of the acquisition – though none on them were paying for the service. If Facebook can monetize its users in a way that justifies $100 per user, then paying $30 per user for an acquisition is a great deal.

Comment by Christine Rochelle on January 16, 2013 at 11:02am

Maybe Justin will bring them in? Ha. I think Facebook is big for them, but they're also very active on Instagram, starting to use Twitter more and more, and then there's sites like ooVoo. They can juggle more than one social site pretty easily, that's why I said they adapt well. 

Comment by Alexander Lau on January 16, 2013 at 10:48am

Christine, I see. All design, and art for that matter, is subjective by nature. It's logic that trumps subjectivity and that's where your Information Architect and UX person comes into play. Where to place what and why. I suppose they've done just that or are trying to steal a page from Apple.

I disagree about the MySpace comment on kids in HS and College. For them it's all about Facebook, not Google+ or MySpace. That's the word on the street and in schools and what all their friends are doing and the older kids. I have nieces and nephews that age and it's a constant barrage of Facebook. 

In terms of any website and the design it follows, it should be built 'Responsively': Responsive web design (often abbreviated to RWD) is an approach to web design in which a site is crafted to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones). There is no need to create a separate mobile site if you take this into consideration. 

Regardless of the way it displays, you're right in your point on user-friendly designs. Take the user-centered design approach taking into consideration a user interface design and a process in which the needs, wants, and limitations of end users of a product are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process.

Comment by Christine Rochelle on January 16, 2013 at 10:37am

Thanks Alex and Ralph for the comments.

Alex - I was referring more to the black, gray, the simple text - the search box has the same large text as the homepage of Apple.com - The newsfeed is in simple gray and white boxes just like the Apple site. Everything about it screamed Apple to me. I'm sure it also relates to other designers but Apple is always at the top of everyone's mind.

Maybe it's late for us, but how about the kids currently in HS and college - they were never on the first myspace. To them it's a new site. And they adapt well. 

As far as SEO, it does have a high page rank just like other social sites but I advise against putting an automotive link on a music site, at least until this develops further.

Comment by Alexander Lau on January 16, 2013 at 5:35am

For you SEOs out there, they still do have a very respected PR at 9. Wouldn't hurt to apply your dealerships hyperlink on a profile page. I do believe their feeds are 'nofollow'.

Comment by Alexander Lau on January 16, 2013 at 5:33am

Eh...

No offense but their sell by date has expired. Reinventing itself in this market isn't going to be easy (competing with the likes of FB and Pinterest).

Not sure what you mean by "Apple design". If you mean they ability to create a clean, usable, intuitive interface designed by the likes of a Human Computer Interaction / UX / Instructional Designer with the help of an Information Architect, then yes it's an absolute improvement. In the world of design, it's not considered decent to cop or rip another's design approach, but then again, they all do it. Ironically, take a look at current Apple products and 1980's Braun products.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on January 15, 2013 at 2:54pm

BTW, I had fun sharing this post to MySpace...

Comment by Ralph Paglia on January 15, 2013 at 2:34pm

Great article Christine! I have been very close to the principals from the Specific Media side of this story and am rooting for MySpace to succeed in its mission.  Having been an Alpha tester of their new music player, I did not hold back in providing constructive criticism... The response i received was along the lines of "tell us more" and my perception is that the team working on MySpace from Specific Media is intelligent, receptive and motivated.  Your overview is well written and informative... Thank you!

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