Myspace plans its big comeback

Now that new group of owners (including Justin Timberlake, aka the pop singer who says he “brought sexy back”) have taken the reins, the one-time social media powerhouse known as Myspace is giving the re-pursuit of internet domination the old college try.

This time around, Myspace is switching its primary target from eyeballs to eardrums and positioning itself as an online music platform, and it’ll now be in competition for users with the likes of music-streaming/radio-station sites Pandora and Spotify, and online distributors like CD Baby.

This summer, in a Billboard article, Timberlake and company announced the upcoming launch of the revamped new site. Scheduled for late 2012/early 2013, the new site is part of a strategy to rebrand Myspace as the go-to place for bands and music fans. The expectation: a move that will return the site to levels of success it hasn’t experienced since before the nearly cataclysmic downward spiral that resulted in the loss of 80 million users over the span of six years.

O.U.C.H.

This wave of design and function changes, which began last year after a steep drop off of users, will transform the site and potentially improve opinions of the faltering brand. And there’s a spiffy sneak peek video to show how the new Myspace will rock your world.

Myspace has always boasted its access to bands, both new and established, as one of its defining features. The new changes taking place are restructuring the site into a stronger network dedicated to bringing fans and their favorite musicians together. And along with a streamlined music player that’s capable of accessing an existing catalog of user-uploaded music, Myspace has added Facebook integration, which allows users to connect their Myspace accounts to their Facebook profiles.

While the inclusion of Facebook integration may seem odd, considering the two social networks have been slugging it out since Facebook became the major player in 2008, it’s actually a great strategy for Myspace. With Facebook integration, users will be able to post and share music with any of their friends, boosting traffic across both members and non-members of Myspace.

The social-media-with-music game plan can be tricky. After tons of fanfare and hype, Apple is quietly pulling the plug on its Ping social media community. Right now, it’s impossible to tell what the future holds for the new Myspace, but its success may hinge on the fact that it’s finally putting one key business concept to good use: know your strengths and build your product around what you do best. The real challenge will be determining what features and functions Myspace will provide to gain and keep the attention of artists.

It can be tempting to offer every feature under the sun, but the average attention span is literally about 5 minutes long. For your social media marketing to be a success, you have to lead with your strongest content and features and make a memorable impact on customers. Once that’s established, you can scale to suit your goals.

We won’t have to wait long to determine if the new Myspace will return the brand to its former glory, or if it’s just going to become another content source for Zuckerberg’s hungry internet machine and its one BILLION users. In the meantime, check it out for yourself; it’s nothing like what it used to be.

And maybe that’s a good thing.

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