The new ‘Facebook-style’ MySpace homepage is focused around two information streams with lots of white surrounding space, abandoning company’s trademark dark and busy backdrop.
One stream is made up of status updates from friends and the other lists what pieces of content are being shared by a person’s network.
In simplifying its user home page, MySpace is making users’ stream wider and more prominent. The stream is the constantly updated flow of status updates and shared content, much like the news feed that is front and center in its more popular and populous rival, Facebook.
The beleaguered site, which has halved its UK audience during the last 12 months, began previewing the new version of the revamped homepage last night to users, ahead of the official August 19 redesign.
Technology pundits have commented how similar the ‘MySpace two column stream’ looks to Facebook’s ‘News Feed’.
Media Week’s Mike Shields said: “MySpace is starting to look a whole lot more like Facebook. The new look, one of several planned changes for the beleaguered site, is a departure from MySpace’s typical dark and cluttered look—as the homepage will soon be marked by a striking amount of Facebook-esque white space.”
Through the inclusion of a stream solely dedicated to content users are sharing, MySpace is hoping to place greater emphasis on content discovery across the site.
This type of content-led strategy was started by Owen Van Natta, MySpace’s former chief executive, whose sudden exit stunned staff earlier this year, when trying to reverse the site’s decline.
The new design also includes a ‘My Stuff” tab and a new ‘Recommendations’ section. ‘MyStuff’ allows users quick access to their photos, videos and music without needing to leave the homepage.
MySpace also is consolidating recommendations, such as games, events and “people you may know,” into one section instead of scattering them around the page.
Recent ComScore data figures revealed that MySpace’s audience numbers dropped by 49 per cent over the last year, falling from 6.5 million visitors in May 2009, to just 3.3 million in May 2010.
The news came hot on the heels of the site’s major rival, Facebook, hitting 500 million registered users. MySpace, founded in 2003, at its peak had more than 120 million users worldwide, but its audience has been declining since the rise of Facebook in 2008.
The site, which was bought by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp for $580 million (£351 million) in 2005, has also lost two chiefs executives in the last six months.
First Owen Van Natta stunned staff with his departure after a mere nine months at the helm of the company in February, and then Jason Hirschhorn, one of Van Natta’s replacements, followed suit four months later.
However, MySpace remains a go-to place for many new musicians who want to showcase their music and interact with their audience. If MySpace’s overhaul works, making music and entertainment front and center could help it serve the same purpose MTV did a generation ago. If it doesn’t, it could go the way of another once-dominant network, Friendster. [via Daily Telegraph (UK) and Huffington Post]