Ah, Myspace. That plucky social network that just keeps hanging on. After its heyday in the twilight years of the last decade, Myspace faced severe user loss as a certain competitor site captained by one Mark Zuckerberg quickly rose to social media dominance. However, though the network may be down, it’s not out. Plenty of signs of life can be detected, and so the question is, is Myspace right for your business?
As with so many things in life, it depends. It depends on quite a few things, actually. But before you can figure out if Myspace is the online space for you, you should get caught up to speed on the once-popular, now-tepid social network.
Those of you who haven’t paid any attention to the program since early college days may sense a grammatical error in the spelling of the name “Myspace,” but it’s no mistake. As part of a semi-recent rebranding, MySpace is now Myspace. Actually, the full rebranding has the network promoting itself as “My_____” but it’s hard to know how to pronounce “______.” For media purposes, the company accepts “Myspace.”
This rebranding is one of the many changes implemented by Myspace’s current owner, News Corporation. You may recognize the name; News Corp. owns the entire FOX network and a plethora of other journalistic endeavors. To be specific, Myspace is owned by a division of News Corporation called News Corp. Digital Media, the imprint that controls such brands as Hulu and IGN Entertainment. But now, Myspace is back up on the selling block. When a company that owns a legion of struggling newspapers decides that you are the commodity that’s become too much dead weight, you have a serious balance sheet problem.
But there are several parties interested in purchasing Myspace, which means it must have value to someone. And that value may be justified. Myspace is vastly different today than it was when it reached its zenith of popularity (and sharp decline). Gone are the blocky, haphazard content blocks and the shabbily designed custom backgrounds. There’s no mention of Tom or his valiant attempt to sneak into your friendship circle. Myspace has been completely redesigned into a sleek, white, attractive-looking digital space that mimics Facebook a lot more closely than the old MySpace design.
The look isn’t the only thing Myspace has changed. The program’s entire raison d’etre. Myspace is no longer billed as a social networking tool; rather, it boasts itself as the top social entertainment program. More importantly, it means it is no longer a Facebook competitor. Myspace has now positioned itself to be a complimentary program to Facebook. It even has a Facebook integration tool that attempts to augment the overall social media user experience.
Myspace users can now curate their own entertainment sites, which means they can add any of thousands of musician, television show, movie, or celebrity pages as part of their entertainment networks, and any and all news from those pages will appear on the user’s landing page. In other words, Myspace is now a portal through which your friends can see the entertainment news and gossip that is important to you. All they need to do is click through to your profile, and all your favorite entertainment tidbits are theirs for the consuming. The entertainment pages can add text, videos, and music, making Myspace a fairly powerful rich-media entertainment-sharing tool.
So, back to our original question. Is Myspace right for your business?
Well, like I said, it depends. First of all, are you in the entertainment industry? If not, then Myspace’s branding doesn’t leave much room for you. They’ve positioned themselves so as to exclude enterprises outside of the scope of entertainment, and you’re almost certainly better off focusing your energies on other outlets, like Facebook and Twitter.
Sure, you can go ahead and create a Myspace page in the interest of an “all bases covered” strategy, but users log on to Myspace looking for self-curated entertainment highlights. They’re not looking for you there. They’re looking for you somewhere else.
And if you are in entertainment? Then the “depends” part of “it depends” gets a little more complicated.
As always, you should consider your audience and how they interact with your product. Do you represent a band? Your fans will almost definitely appreciate a Myspace page for listening to tracks, seeing band photos, keeping up with the tour, etc. But if you’re the guy who sells guitars to that band, your customers may not be so happy about their favorite Myspace artist updates being interrupted by news about your upcoming amp sale. It’s all about who your customers are and what they want from you (and what you can deliver to them).
Another thing to keep in mind is the total number of Myspace users. According to a Quantcast study, Myspace lands about 19.7 million unique visitors each month. Facebook gets almost 139 million every month, which is roughly 7 times more than Myspace. If you don’t have the resources to manage a consistent Facebook and Myspace presence, you’ll probably want to consider the greater reach of Facebook. Add to that the fact that Facebook recently announced that it will be developing new ways to share photos, videos, and yes, even music, and it becomes almost impossible to acknowledge the Facebook advantage.
In the end, of course, only you can know what’s best for your company. If you’re debating the move to Myspace, log on to the site and spend some time checking it out. See what users are doing, how they’re interacting, and what they seem to be looking for. If it’s a good fit for your product, Myspace could be the space for you.
Are you currently using Myspace? Tell us your thoughts on the network in the comments below.