The social network is trying to reinvigorate its brand with a new look and new products that it hopes will help it appeal to users who've jumped ship for Facebook and Twitter.
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
MySpace has had trouble staying relevant as Facebook's user base continues to grow. But with its latest update, the News Corp.-owned social network is trying to see if it can regain at least some of its past glory with social entertainment targeted toward Generation Y.
MySpace's new site design is intended to help Gen Y users find a "broad array of programming, including originals, exclusives, and content from around the Web." The company is also encouraging users to share their interests on their profiles, as well as "connect" to others who share those interests.
Once users log in to their accounts, the new MySpace welcome page will display entertainment content they might like based on the site's understanding of their interests. The goal, MySpace said, is to "create a unique, contextually relevant discovery experience."
To achieve that goal, the company has released several "products" to get people to the content they really care about.
One of those products, called Topics, connects MySpace users to over 20,000 "entertainment-focused, dynamic pages." Those pages feature content on entertainment topics from a number sites, including MTV, The Village Voice, and The New York Times. In addition, MySpace has created "Content Hubs" that zero in on movies, television shows, or celebrities. Each hub will feature articles and related content to the hub's focus. The company plans to offer games, comedy, sports, and fashion hubs "in the coming months."
To keep users connected while on the go, MySpace also plans to launch a mobile version of the site in the near future. A MySpace app for the iPhone and Android handsets will be released "later this year."
In an attempt to tailor the MySpace experience to the user, the site will now feature a personalized stream that displays content from across the site that the user is most likely to care about based on their habits while using MySpace. In addition, MySpace is adding a Recommendations feature, which lists some topics users might want to consider delving into or fans they might want to connect with. MySpace said that its recommendations engine is powered by "algorithms that learn the type of content a user views, listens to, or watches, and from whom or where they discovered it."
Finally, MySpace has added a trending topics feature to help users find out what music and videos were recently added to the site. A "My Stuff" tab in the user's profile will display all the content the respective person personally uploaded to the site.
In addition to a complete site overhaul, MySpace has changed its logo. The logo now includes a bracket that, according to MySpace, "represents a space where people can express themselves, enabling users to personalize the logo and make it their own--just as they can throughout MySpace."
The new MySpace, which is currently in beta, is being rolled out starting today. It will be available to every user by the end of November.