Refreshed MySpace Desperately Seeks Users
MySpace is showing off today its new, polished look, which is a far cry from the hodge-podge of textboxes featuring strippers and porn star "friends." The "clean new profile" was announced by CEO Sean Percival who revealed his profile page in stark black and white (although won't we kind of miss that passionate purple?)
Like competitor Facebook, MySpace has put the profile on the left and created a MySpace Stream, similar to Facebook's newsfeed, and uploads Twitter status updates.
It makes more sense as to why MySpace is buying Threadbox, a social messaging service that replaces email and instant messenger accounts, and is incorporating it into their site. MySpace's heyday of 2007 is gone and it seems to be a sinking ship of irrelevance against the onslaught of Facebook, so it has to do something revolutionary to woo back a generation.
MySpace began losing users in 2008, when Facebook started muscling in its social network territory. By May 2009, Facebook's unique visitors outstripped MySpace 70,278,000 to 70,255,000 and has never stopped, according to data provided to PC World from comScore. As of June, Facebook's numbers were double those of MySpace -- 141,638,000 to 66,633,000. In other words, since last year when both social networks were neck-and-neck, MySpace has dropped 5 percent while Facebook has grown 50 percent.
Shouldn't that be a sign the users have spoken?
While MySpace showed some slight upticks in a few months, most notably in March 2010 when users jumped to 70,136,000 -- likely due to its revamp and "Discover and be Discovered" campaign, numbers slid back down in April and still lower in May and June.
So far, user comments on the new interface have been positive, unless you're one of those cynical folks who thinks that Percival might be editing out the negative comments on his profile page:
"How much longer do I have to wait to get this profile style. I don't mind testing it!" net.xero wrote.
"I like it. Less cluttered. Hope to see many more improvements," wrote Hockey BLADES.
I expect Myspace's modern-looking user interface and may woo back more visitors, but if history is any indicator, it's more likely that its numbers will be another quick rise and settle into a slow but inevitable sink.