New Myspace – What’s it got and can it work?

There’s a completely new re-born and re-invented New Myspace in the wings. What’s it about? For sure, there are lots of things to drool over and a potential show-stopper or two.

New Myspace is promoting itself as an exclusive online community for artists, creatives and their followers. In their own words:

“empowering people to express themselves however they want. So whether you’re a musician, photographer, filmmaker, designer or just a dedicated fan, we’d love you to be a part of our brand new community.”
Myspace access request

This is what you see when you visit the – a holding page requesting your email address for early registration.

I’m a sucker for good and creative User Interfaces that work – and this one’s got me hooked. It’s stunning and obviously geared toward tablets and phones (especially on Retina displays). It looks fantastic on my 27″ monitor, which it completely fills with well laid out and presented content. Access to is currently by invitation only – if you are interested you’ll need to submit your email address here – it took 2-3 weeks for my invitation to arrive.

New myspace - Sample one

Sample of the new myspace interface. Note the high quality imagery, horizontal scroll and built in media player / radio stations (in the footer).

It is about music, movies, photography, and curation. The latter being one of the latest successful Internet movements, vis-à-vis the likes of Pinterest and the Retronaut (a personal favorite). It has a built-in audio player with access to albums via ‘radio stations’ – watch out Pandora etc. It’s highly geared toward the aspiring artsy 20 to 40 age group, with a polished magazine style of presentation.

Its success will be partially reliant on how well it allows people to curate their content and make it searchable, sharable and ultimately findable. It will also depend on the users’ engagement. From what I’ve seen thus far the engagement is fairly superficial – more akin to a Facebook ‘Like’ fest, via the ‘connection’ feature which, by the way, I quite like. Unfortunately about the longest comment and conservation I’ve seen thus far amounts to ‘very nice’ and ‘Thank you’. Who’s to say what it’ll look like when it’s open to the general babble of Instagrams and the stupidity of the Internet as a whole?

The ‘seeded’ content I’ve encountered is well written and produced, and not at all fluffy (no Lolz Cats or Memes here – yet). However, I’m having trouble working out who is actually producing the quality content I’m seeing. Myspace staff or end users? This makes judging where it’s going to go difficult. I’ve already found some appalling content (obviously in my own opinion), from a user who’s a self proclaimed ‘up and coming photographer’ hoping to be taken seriously (drop the overdone HDR if you want to be taken seriously – please).

New myspace - Sample two

Sample of the new Myspace interface. Note the high quality magazine layout, horizontal scroll and built in media player / radio stations (in the footer).

The New Myspace strategy seems to be very specific niche market targeting, which leaves the likes of Facebook and Google+ in the dust, looking to please everyone. It’s a real challenge to Google+’s hopes of becoming the new home of photography on the Internet. But, currently the Terms and Conditions exclude any commerce beyond bands promoting themselves and their gigs/albums. Not good.

You really have to read the mind-numbing and seemingly never ending terms and conditions text, which makes Facebook’s Ts & Cs look like a very nice children’s comic book. The gems I got from trawling through them were that they reserve the right to sell copies of everything and anything you post including any derivatives that are made. They make a big play of repeatedly stating that users have very limited rights. There was one redeeming feature. They do assert that no matter what they do with your content, you own the original version. I’m not convinced that these Ts & Cs are going to fly, you only have to look at the huge outpouring of angst on Facebook on this very subject.

Their monetization model isn’t clear yet. Selling your content? Adverts on the radio stations? inserted ads in the content? Currently there’s no sign of an equivalent to Google+’s and Facebook’s business pages.

Now I need to dedicate some real time to posting and curating content, as its too early to say how and if this is going to pan out. I’ll will say that I love it and it’s got me itching to put some of my photographic work on display. Except that is, for their terms and conditions, which suck and really are a definite show-stopper.

One thing is for sure, this has the potential to shake up the very staid, conservative and old fashioned looking Facebook and Google+ which will be a very good thing.

New Myspace – One to watch.