MySpace returns with music-dominated social media site
BY ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer
Thursday, January 31, 2013
1/31/13 at 7:05 AM
MySpace is back.
I can hear you laughing. Although MySpace was once the No. 1 social network on the Internet, it was quickly leapfrogged by Facebook and decayed into a backward, empty wasteland ignored by nearly everybody for the last five years.
Justin Timberlake and others promised to give it a complete music-oriented overhaul and make MySpace relevant again. The new site is now open to the public, so I thought I'd give it a spin and see how it works.
I quickly found that it literally isn't competing with Facebook or Twitter - you can use your IDs from those sites or even your old MySpace information to log in.
Be warned that upgrading your old account apparently flushes away all of your old friends except MySpace Tom. But at this point, the only reason to mess around with the old MySpace is if you haven't experienced enough pain in your life.
The upgraded site makes no secret of its ambitions to be a music and entertainment hub. You're asked to identify yourself as a fan, musician, comedian, artist, venue or others.
So, uh, "fan" it is.
Like Twitter, you can leave posts of up to 150 characters that can include a photo or song. Like Google +, you can make connections to other people, musicians, bands and apparently venues in order to follow them and see what they're posting.
It's still early in MySpace's life, but near as I can tell, very few people are using it for messaging. Fortunately, that's not MySpace's mission. Instead, it's all about music sharing and discovery.
The bottom of the screen is dominated by the "deck," which combines options and search functions with a music player.
It's not a game-changer, but it's useful since you can see what's going to be played next and also drag and drop to create play lists for yourself or for sharing with others.
Profile pages, be they for you or a performer, can be loaded up with songs that other people can listen to and share. All of this is handled in the website, although there doesn't seem to be a legal way to save songs from the site.
Additionally, major artists have lists of bands that have inspired them and bands that are similar. If you're in the mood to discover new tunes, you could easily lose hours digging through things.
The site itself is fairly minimalist and easy to use, although it has the annoying tendency to scroll horizontally. It's also missing a few official pages for popular bands and artists, but that might be part of the usual struggles for a new website.
I enjoyed my time with the new MySpace, but I couldn't help but wonder whether the site truly exceeds all the other music discovery services out there like Pandora, Spotify, Songza and others. Will users take the time to give a faded brand a second chance and create yet another profile?
Regardless, the new MySpace is a decent effort and much better than letting our old MySpace profiles continue to rot and embarrass us.
Original Print Headline: Music dominates MySpace