Wisdom.Applied Wednesday: The MySpace Apocalypse

Like the countless zombie movies and TV shows blanketing our culture right now, MySpace rose from the dead earlier this year. After its heyday (from 2005 to 2008 when it ruled the burgeoning world of social networking), MySpace began a precipitous decline in user base as young people flocked to Facebook. At the time, pundits ascribed the move to the cleaner, standardized user interface and the use of real names. But we all know we moved to Facebook because that’s where our friends were.

In 2010, MySpace made a concerted effort to rebrand and reclaim the mantle of King of Social Networks. This meant a new logo using the “window” school of logo design that remains somewhat en vogue today.

My_______ failed to generate the interest needed to draw the masses away from Facebook. It was only a year later that Google+ launched to much greater fanfare and yet that service too, despite Google’s long arm and its supposed 500 million user base, remains near the rear of the pack in discussions on social networks.

Now, MySpace has been revived by none other than Justin Timberlake, who himself has seen his fair share of revivals both with his music career and a well-received acting career, including a turn in The Social Network where he played one of his real-life competitors.

The new MySpace features a dramatically redesigned user interface that resembles a combination of Pinterest, with its endless stream of floating boxes, and Spotify, with its ability to stream music. Unfortunately, where once MySpace was the prime destination for discovering new music, the service doesn’t seem to have dislodged the current leaders from their positions.

MySpace even launched its first ever commercial for their revamped service. The ads mimic a party and the kinds of activities they digitize: taking pictures, listening to music, seeing your friends. All of this takes place in a clean, well-lit, anonymous space. The message is clear: being on MySpace is like being at a party with all your friends and pop culture icons. And they certainly seemed to learn the lesson from Facebook about eliminating those 1990’s Geocities-era graphics for something more clean and modern.

 

 

But, as we all know, you move to a new social network because that’s where your friends are. It takes those early adopters to start the avalanche of friends moving, but it doesn’t look like MySpace has won those people over. Is this the end of MySpace or is another relaunch inevitable? While this could just be a slow start to a revolution in social networking, the fact that MySpace asks you to log in with your Facebook or Twitter accounts can’t help but feel like an admission of defeat. Like any zombie, MySpace seems like it’s just the walking dead.

Cover Photo Source: 360b / Shutterstock.com

Kaz is a Junior Executive at SJG. He earned BAs in English Writing and Business Marketing at Illinois Wesleyan University and is currently pursuing an MA in Advertising at The University of Texas at Austin. Outside the office, Kaz consumes gobs of media including but not limited to books, magazines, music, movies and television.