The “new” MySpace opened up today to the public. Funny enough, I’ve been anticipating this news for a long while. Ever since Justin Timberlake announced the redesign back in late September. I was never one for MySpace – it didn’t appeal to me and the design of the profile pages was just brutal. From what I’m aware, it eventually grew into focusing on music rather than a personal space. I’m not sure who still used it previously (if anyone did) but I have to say, this redesign has me really excited.
The design is slick and really sets the bar for web design for 2013. The “cover” photo is an amazing piece of real estate, and makes my Facebook cover photo look outdated and fuzzy. The layout of everything takes a little getting use to, but I find everything is exactly where you need to find it. I haven’t had too much time with MySpace yet, but aside from the beautiful design, there are a few problems I have with the user experience:
- Genre – MySpace has taken the approach to “discover” and find new music. This is great, but the lack of a genre dedicated column in the search function really is a disappointment. I searched for “Jazz” and up came a bunch of hip-hop artists and people who all had the name “Jazzy” in their name. Not nearly what I was hoping for…
- Lack of Music – I realize I’m getting ahead of myself here as this is a social channel that opened up today. Since MySpace wasn’t used that much to begin with, artist profiles are really lacking on the music.
- Album Sales – The opportunity for bands and singer/songwriters with MySpace is amazing. If this channel grows (which I suspect it will), it’ll be a great location where artists and fans can really connect on a one-on-one level. The thing that it lacks is the ability for artists to buy albums or songs right from their page. If MySpace can set up either their own music shop to buy physical and digital albums, this would be phenomenal. In the interim or from the start, giving the artists a chance to link to their own online stores or iTunes would also be a huge help.
- Conversation – Again, I haven’t had a chance to really explore MySpace, but something I find it’s lacking is the ability to create conversation. The connections of one-on-one between artists and fans is easy to picture, but finding like-minded, interesting people is not as simple. I realize there’s music involved and you can search by musical-taste and professional type, but, no offence, everyone looks like douchebags. Maybe it’s just me, but you can only talk for so long about music. Hashtags (on Justin Timberlake’s page anyway) didn’t link to anything and I’m not too sure how you @mention to someone… This, in my opinion, is a serious lack.
There’s Serious Potential
The “new” MySpace has serious potential and I believe that if they focus on the delivery and return for users, it could grow into something great. While I love the profile page and the music player, the depth of connecting with like-minded people is lacking. I’m curious to see what others say in the first few days, and see what growth MySpace will work towards in the coming months. Don’t write it off as a marketing tactic just yet, I think they’ve got something up their sleeves.
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