Tuesday, March 8, 2011
After reading the chapter in New New Media about Myspace, I went over to my old stomping grounds for a little bit of research. To my surprise, my username and password came right back to me and before I knew it I was back on my old profile. Except that it wasn't my old profile at all. Myspace has completely reinvented itself in the four years since my absence. The homepage is now littered with ads for new movies and games, as well as prompts desperately trying to encourage discourse on the site between fellow Myspacers. The layout is a little more structured now, with one that more resembles those of other social networking sites. I remember the days when people would cover their entire background with obnoxious pictures of skateboarders or Adam Brody, while their profile blared the latest pop craze loudly and without warning.
Myspace has also incorporated features from other sites such as the instant messaging with your online friends, the ability to update your "status" (before they only had your "mood" and a short little blurb you could add at the top of your profile), and full photo albums. The one main feature I noticed that is still very much intact in which Myspace was a pioneer are the music pages. It is pretty similar to how I remember it being with a few new improvements and a new, more streamlined look. However, one thing I found really interesting was that all over Myspace's site, including on many of the music pages, were links to other social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as links to sites that have recently become great competition for Myspace on the music front like YouTube. Even on their main page before you sign in, there was an add telling me to like something on Facebook! I'm not sure what kind of marketing ploy Myspace is utilizing but it was very odd.
My overall impression of the "new and improved" Myspace was pretty indifferent. The problem is is that many users my age can see right through Myspace's constant revamping as blatant desperation to stay hip and keep what's left of their remaining members. After all, after four years of absolutely NO activity on the site, my account still remained up and running and Myspace even updated it for me. Plus it took me a good ten minutes and a google search to figure out where the "sign out" button was. Possibly Myspace's way of keeping me logged in forever? I think yes. There was a reason I left, and unfortunately for Myspace, it doesn't look like they will be getting any of their previous users of my generation back any time soon.
*their new icon is alright though (shown top right)