Weekly Re-Brand #3: MySpace
Posted on Thursday, November 22nd, 2012 by Brian Walker
Welcome to the Blade Weekly Re-Brand, a place for us to take a quick look at some of the rebranding going on in the world and give a quick impression of what went right and what went wrong.
This week, MySpace surprised everyone when it became a trending topic on Twitter. MySpace had announced a major rebrand (but don’t call it that) and a major shift in focus.
What was wrong with the old MySpace?
MySpace, which at one point owned up to 80% of the social media market, has become largely irrelevant. Allowing almost unlimited user customizations to their personal pages caused the site to become image-heavy and unwieldy, which led to users fleeing in droves to the (at the time) much simpler Facebook.
Does the new version fix the problem?
MySpace seems to have dropped the community feeling entirely from their logo. Now it’s just about me. The one area where the old MySpace was still doing well was in music; MySpace had signed deals with record companies to create acoustic “MySpace Sessions” EPs for popular and indie bands, and their sharing features were better integrated than sites designed strictly for music-sharing. Now, sharing music (and videos) seems to be MySpace’s primary objective. Rather than fix the community aspect of their site, MySpace has jettisoned it altogether. The most telling point in this new strategy is the “Join Now or Connect with Facebook” option, allowing, as many other sites do, Facebook to do the heavy lifting in connecting users.
What new problems have been introduced?
By losing the community iconography and “a place for friends” tagline entirely, MySpace risks losing even more ground on the social network front. What could be even worse though, is that MySpace has changed their entire strategy and product offering. This is a completely different animal, but by keeping the MySpace name they may be bringing along more ill will than good.
Is it an overall improvement?
The new MySpace is a completely different entity than the old one. I, for one, being a big music lover, will be giving it a chance. A conversation I overheard mentioned that MySpace “couldn’t possibly get any worse”, and to their credit, the new site is clean and even elegant looking. It remains to be seen, however, whether MySpace can overcome the negative reputation it has spent the last decade building for itself.