Myspace, Not to be Confused with MySpace
Something really weird happened yesterday—I made a Myspace account.
No, I’m not talking about the one we remember from circa early 2000’s with top eights, horrendous GIFs, and the pulsing “Online Now!” man, all on a page dominated with orange and blue. Unless of course, you could attempt to teach yourself code to make your page look a bit less of an eye sore.
While we will never forget that reassuring smile of the mysterious “Tom” to remind us he will always be our friend, millions of users abandoned their chaotic MySpace pages and the site fell off the map after a short five years of fame with the creation of the cleaner, more user-friendly Facebook. “MySpace Classic” as it will now be referred to, has been reinvented to the clever and conveniently named: Myspace. Not a typo, the only difference is indeed the capitalization of the letter “s”.
Myspace appeared online in late 2012 as a music discovery service with the support of Justin Timberlake. Last week, it was officially launched to the public along with an iPhone app.
Put simply, the new Myspace is completely gorgeous. It’s interactive, visual and easy to use. The best part about it? It’s not trying to come back as a better version of Facebook. As a matter of fact, it isn’t even competing with Facebook. Myspace is a unique social media site married to popular music sites like Spotify and Pandora. But what sets Myspace apart from these music sites is not just a more appealing layout. The exact frustrations I have with Pandora and Spotify are solved with Myspace—users become their own DJs and don’t just connect with their own friends. They are encouraged to create their own stations and share them with other users and are able to easily discover other users with similar music tastes.
The only question I have is this: why have they chosen to keep the original name “Myspace” when it has such negative connotations among internet users? At face value, it sounds like a pretty bad branding strategy. It is so much more than an upgrade or addition of a new feature - they have completely recreated the foundation and functionality of the website. So I can’t help but wonder why they carried the name over from MySpace Classic, which holds all the negative connotations and users’ frustrations.
But then, part of me knows the company made the right decision from a public relations perspective. Such a drastic rebranding of an extremely well-known social media platform is significantly more newsworthy than just another release of a random social media website. A new Myspace release will generate talk— and it most certainly has. It was quite daring to hope that the MySpace Classic negativity would be able to make a complete turnaround, but it just might work. Commercials have already been aired on popular channels like MTV and VH1 featuring celebrities like Justin Timberlake and Mac Miller, so they have clearly invested some money and faith in this brand.
Time will tell whether or not users will catch on to the new and improved Myspace, and in the meantime, I’m sure Tom is jamming out somewhere to a 90’s MySpace inspired Myspace playlist.