Do you have a MySpace account? No? Let me guess why.
MySpace has been quite popular for some time, and some people have actually used it to successfully promote their sites/businesses. I, however, could never bring myself to create an account with them. The reason? MySpace is a sight for sore eyes. The pages are crammed with widgets at every nook and cranny, they take forever to load, loud thumping music shocks you into a heart attack, navigation makes you run in circles, and the blogs look like they were stuck in the 90s. Clearly, it’s in dire need of a major makeover, and that’s exactly what they’re promising. So, better late than never?
So what exactly is changing? Take a look at this mockup from Adrants. The layout is cleaner and the elements blend much tighter. In keeping with design trends, there are plenty of rounded corners, the glassy look, “cute” icons, subtle colors and gradients. As for navigation, AJAX will reportedly be used. Internal search will now be handled by Lucene, an open-source search engine, while MySpace TV will be upgraded to Flash 9, capable of HD and full screen. A nice addition is improved profile editing for customization.
What’s in it for you?
Its owner, NewsCorp, is leading this change to boost their revenues, but what’s in it for you? Well, first is that if this so-called MySpace 2.0 becomes successful, the demographics may change in its favor. MySpace has always been criticized by marketers as a site for the young and the penniless, while Facebook is attracting more grownups with purchasing power. A more sober-looking MySpace may just get some converts, and attract those still uninitiated to the social networking phenomenon.
Second, this new design promises bigger ads spaces for promotion. No word yet if they’re going to implement Facebook-like ads, though personally I don’t see that as being far off. Third, competition is always great for consumers. Facebook just caught up with MySpace in terms of number of unique users, and from here on out these two giants will be giving it all they’ve got to make their services better. MySpace’s makeover is only the beginning of good things ahead.
Phase I starts today, June 18. Expect gradual changes in the coming months.