After popstar Justin Timberlake and Specific Media purchased Myspace in 2011, Timberlake promised to return the network to its glory days. He wanted Myspace to be a place where users can find music, bands and other art which is created by the people, for the people. Myspace as a whole took its time in creating this new network. This is because, over a year later, we’ve finally been introduced to the invite-only beta build of the new Myspace.
After I received my invitation to the service a couple weeks ago, I was really excited to give the service a thorough test. When I saw the promotional video for the service a few months before, I really started to think that New Myspace has some serious potential, though I was prepared to prove myself wrong due to previous disappointments with the classic Myspace. After about a week of using the service and interacting with a few friends on the network, I’m finally bringing you my full thoughts on the service. Did it really live up to all that I thought it would be?
The Experience & Design
Using the new Myspace is pretty refreshing. It feels like nothing I’ve ever used before in terms of sharing status updates, photos and other content with friends and relatives. Upon signing into the network, you’re greeted with a unique side-scrolling menu which you can use to scroll through to status updates, song listens and photo uploads. You can interact with your friends by commenting on friend’s statuses and updating your status from this page as well. When updating your status, you can add photos, locations and even attach songs to your post. When viewing a friend’s status, you can choose to comment on the media or Connect with it. Connecting with a post is similar to liking something on Facebook.
I personally find the design of the new Myspace to be pretty impressive a well. The look reminds me of a well-designed version of Windows 8’s Metro interface. Scrolling through content is very smooth within Chrome and toggling between different menus is very fast. Another thing I like about the new Myspace’s interface is the Music and People menus. Both of these menus are very well designed and show off both your music library (which I’ll cover in the next section) as well as your friends.
In the People menu, you can hover over your mouse over a friend’s name to listen to their last played song or you can click on the connection button to view more information about the selected person. From this menu you can message your friends, view mutual contacts and interact with them in other ways. If you press the “Play All” button located towards the lower righthand corner of the window, your friend’s recently played songs will start playing.
User profiles are also an interesting part of the new Myspace. User profiles show all of a user’s posts and media uploads as well as their song listens. When configuring your page, you’re asked to pick a background photo as well as a profile song. This song is displayed on your user profile and can be easily played when people visit your new Myspace page. You can also put a short biography on your profile and choose your “Top 8″. Your Top 8 is a list of your top 8 friends which are displayed on your profile.
Music functionality is where the new Myspace really shines. With Myspace, you can listen to any song you want free of charge. The music you listen to is then shared with all of your friends via your profile. You can search for new music by clicking on the search button which is located towards the bottom side of the new Myspace webpage. From here you can search for your favorite artist or song and play it instantly. If you’d like to save a song to your Myspace music library, simply Connect with it. You can view your Myspace music collection via the Library tab located towards the lefthand side of the webpage.
Your Library tab also houses all of your photos which you’ve uploaded and connected with as well as videos which you’ve connected to. Myspace’s video library is currently all music videos though we’re not totally sure if Myspace plans on extending to other video content in the future. If the service does expand to other video types, the new Myspace could turn into the place to be when it comes to high-quality online media.
Not only can you listen to old favorites in new Myspace, but you can also find new music and to listen to. If you look towards the bottom of the new Myspace webpage and click on the Discover button, you’ll be brought to a page which allows you to view new releases, recommendations as well as trending music, videos and other content. When you’re in the Discover menu, look towards the lefthand corner of the screen, you’ll notice six different buttons: Trending, People, Music, Mixes, Videos and Radio. You can click on these buttons to be brought to their respective menus.
If you click on the Trending button, you’ll be able to read articles on pop-culture and music news which seems to be rarely updated and kind of dull to read. The People tab recommends and allows you to search for new people for you to connect with based on location, music taste and profile type. While I find this a little bit creepy, it seems like a good way to make new friends if you’re really into music. The Music tab is pretty neat as it allows you to view new releases, trending artists as well as personal music recommendations. Music recommendations are based on music in which you’ve already connected with. The Mixes menu basically shows off Mixes which you can listen to in a pinch. The Videos tab allows you to view trending videos as well as videos which are recommended for you based off of videos which you’ve connected with in the past. Of course, you can also view new video releases from this menu as well. Finally, the Radio tab allows you search for internet radio stations based on your favorite artists or music genres.
While I think it’s great that Myspace is trying hard to make a comeback with a whole new social platform, I think a few changes will need to be made before the service hits the masses. First off, I think the Library and Discover tabs should be more integrated with music and video search. I also think Connecting with media should be more well defined as it’s used throughout the entire service. Connecting with a song is different than Connecting with a friend’s status update, etc.
If the proper adjustments are made, I think the functionality and interface are on the right track to bringing Myspace back to its former glory. Remember, the new Myspace is only in beta, so my complaints will likely be ironed out before we see an official launch. If you’d like to check out the new Myspace for yourself, head on over to the website to request a beta invitation.
MySpace is trying to make a comeback with an all new service which is not only a full-featured social network, but an awesome music player as well.7
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