ADOTAS – MySpace CEO Mike Jones says the site’s relaunch “pulls us out of the social networking category” — and he’s right. MySpace is now kind of like the undead social network, lumbering around the web, moaning and looking for young brains to feast on.
The no-longer-a-social-network has long been trying to re-establish itself as an entertainment site with social elements aimed at the younger generation — though they prefer the sexier title “social discovery engine.” The new interface, rolling out today and available to all users by the end of November, will feature content served to the user based on the network’s understanding of his or her taste in entertainment content such as movies, music and gossip — timeliness takes a backseat. A trending tab will offer the latest news and the site will make recommendations for other topics that may interest and other users.
And I’m… Yawning. The relaunch is so anti-climatic — a gallery at HuffPo shows overly busy homepages with content barraging the user and profile pages that don’t seem all that engaging. Calling it a discovery engine seems disingenuous — it’s a corporate-fueled entertainment recommendation system. And other portals have customizable and social interfaces that make recommendations based on a user’s perceived preferences as well. So what’s the big deal?
Frankly, if this wasn’t the once-mighty MySpace, I think most media outlets would have passed on the news. My first reaction to the preview video was “There’s a band called Berlin Rug Collectors?” Man, there really aren’t any good band names left — At least the The Airborne Toxic Event is a reference to Don DeLillo’s “White Noise.” The point is: I was completely distracted from the site improvements, if you can call them that.
But MySpace isn’t aimed at cynical thirtysomethings like myself — it’s going for teenagers that like having products shoved in their faces… Or they seem to… But really, what’s MySpace got to offer now that can’t be found at tons of other entertainment sites?
Obviously the MySpace people realize the glory days are long gone — if anything, the relaunch is a depressing admittance to that.