Myspace Tries to Stay Relevant

If I may paraphrase Ferris Bueller, life in cyberspace moves pretty fast -- if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.  In 2006, MySpace (building on the pioneering work of Friendster) was on top of the world, the most popular social networking site in the United States.  By 2008, Facebook had overtaken it as the international leader in social media.  Now humbled but still with over 43 million unique U.S. visitors a month, Myspace (note the lowercase "S"), owned by News Corporation, is trying again to redefine itself.  It is rolling out a new design (one of a string in the past few years) and apparently has a new mission to set itself up as a niche social network rather than the "Web site that offers everything for everyone" that it was trying for a time to be during its peak.

In what seems to be an acknowledgement that it cannot compete, nor does it want to, with Facebook, the new direction for Myspace seems to be to focus on music and attract a younger audience with solid streaming MP3s and videos.  Recent changes have allowed Myspace users to link their Twitter feeds and even Facebook status updates directly to their Myspace accounts. Myspace still offers more design options, but is still plagued with more spam than other comparable networks.

As it has been tinkering with its image, one ironic choice was to debut a new logo in which the word "space" was replaced by a blank underline.  What might have been a creative attempt by marketers to offer a catchy and appealing shorthand for its name might instead have the unintentional effect of ironically illustrating Myspace's struggles to continue the momentum it once had and stay relevant with social media participants.  The new logo might make viewers jokingly call Myspace "Mywhat" or "Mynothing" or "My(insert joke here)."

We shall see if continuing efforts at rebranding will be successful or if the Myspace ship continues to pass for mainstream users.

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