A new Myspace app launched today, featuring a complete redesign and pushing forward with several new ways to interact with other users on the social network. Of course many of you are probably making jokes about Myspace right now, and perhaps you're referring to MySpace or my______, each legacies of a company which was bought in 2011 by Specific Media and Justin Timberlake for US$35 million.
Since then Myspace has been undergoing a major overhaul and a refocusing on its social roots. The new app reflects this, and makes discovery a huge part of the experience. When you first sign up via the app, you are required to "connect" to five people -- none of whom you are likely to know. I have to admit it was a little weird to connect with five people whom I'd never met or seen or heard of, but in the interest of science I did it anyway. You can also log in via Twitter or Facebook.
Note that these connections can be asymmetrical, so it's more like I'm subscribing to someone's stream on Facebook. Let's face it, if you're on a social network are you really concerning yourself too much with privacy to begin with?
Once in the app you'll see an interface that is part Flickr (gorgeous tile-based photo browsing), part Facebook (social subscriptions), part Tumblr (animated GIFs) and part Path (attractive design with excellent interaction models). Myspace has taken some of the better features from those mobile experiences and produced a light but effective solution for browsing photos and seeing connections.
Of course, at the very beginning there was music. I remember being a heavy MySpace user (note the camel case, indicating the olden times), and music was a huge part of the experience. OK the other part of the experience was glittery pages hacked together -- but thankfully that nonsense has been abandoned for a streamlined profile page featuring photos. Yes, you can also make animated GIFs right in the app as well, which some might see as the new sparkly unicorn dancing on your profile page, but it's really a lot more fun than it sounds. If you enjoyed Stilly, you'll love this feature.
If you're looking to find new music, the new Myspace app is very compelling. I can browse my connections, see the connections those people are making, then go to a profile and right up top there are two buttons: one to connect, and one to play their music playlist. That's actually quite awesome. I was very quickly able to see what cool photos a person had, how many connections, their website, location, etc.
As you can see in the photo above, the two circles indicating a connection are everywhere. Once you connect (to music or a person) the two circles merge. It's a nice touch with a huge impact, because Myspace, by constantly pushing these connections, is getting back to its roots of connecting artists with people and providing a powerful discovery mechanism in the process. Say what you will about the network, this is a powerful way to discover new music and people.
While it remains to be seen if this will revitalize Myspace, I can attest to the power of this connection process. Within moments of joining I discovered a person in Los Angeles through one of my connections, then discovered Die Antwoord, an artist I'd never heard of but now I'm seeking out more of their music! That's powerful stuff, but we'll see if it's the magnet of users Myspace hopes it will be.
The new Myspace app is free, and I encourage you to try it out. Animated GIFs aside, there's a real effort to connect people and artists, and I think this is one of the better apps I've seen that does exactly that.
"The magic of Myspace has always been at the intersection of creative expression, community, promotion, and discovery," said Myspace CEO Tim Vanderhook. "Myspace aims to power a new ecosystem catering directly to the creative community, enabling artists to manage their digital presence, build an audience, upload and distribute their content, and learn from data all on a single platform."
The entirely new platform was developed by a creative team of artists, designers, and developers, and refined by community feedback during the site's beta. One feature developed as a response to high demand by the community is a tool that allows people to create and share animated GIFs as simply and intuitively as taking and posting pictures.
The new Myspace also offers a persistent player, which anchors everything in music. Accessing 53 million songs from the world's largest digital music library, the player delivers faster streaming and intuitive drag-and-drop functionality for a superior music experience.
The mobile app's My Radio feature allows people to create and program their own radio stations, which can be streamed for free on an unlimited basis. Stations can be produced by anyone, giving each member the opportunity to play the role of DJ and promote the music they love to the broader community.
Myspace also delivers its community Insights, an analytics suite that offers a set of visualized data reports telling artists how big their audience is, which fans are most influential, and what's resonating with them.
Committed to promoting its community, the new Myspace dedicates a highly visible home page to highlighting members and their content. The site's Discover feature drives connection and collaboration by allowing members to filter searches by account type, such as musician, photographer, writer, or even developer.
Starting today, the new Myspace is officially available at www.myspace.com. Profiles from Classic Myspace have been upgraded to the new platform, so that members can log in using Classic Myspace, Facebook, or Twitter account credentials and access their content and connections easily.
The mobile app is available exclusively for iOS devices at www.AppStore.com/. A mobile-optimized version of the new Myspace is available for non-iOS consumers as well.
Myspace (myspace.com) is a place where people come to connect, discover, and share. Showcasing artists and their work, the site gives people access to 53 million tracks and videos-the world's largest digital music library. With roots in music and social, the platform is built to empower all artists-from musicians and designers to writers and photographers-helping them connect with audiences, collaborators, and partners to achieve their goals. Through an open design, compelling editorial features, and analytics-based recommendations, Myspace fosters a creative community of people who connect around mutual affinity and inspiration for the purpose of shaping, sharing, and discovering what's next.