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Can Justin Timberlake Bring Myspace Back?
Myspace releases teaser video for its new platform... and we admit it looks pretty sexy

Ex-popular social media platform Myspace is coming back
. A just-released teaser video previews the upcoming revamps and slicker, more engaging new features – and we admit they look sexy. Gone are the God-awful profile designs of the yesteryears, instead the new Myspace combines the feel of other social media platforms to create a new network that is visually pleasing.

The new Myspace will allow users to sign in with their Facebook and Twitter accounts to import existing content, no longer requiring its own account. Status updates will function much like Facebook, allowing comments from connections. Photo albums will have the option to create complementary music mixes, providing what I imagine is an intended multi-sensory affect and a first for social media. A constant playlist scrolls at the bottom similar to GrooveShark.

As of June 2012, Facebook has 955 million users and is the most popular social networking and the most popular website in the world. In June, Myspace was the 161st most popular website in the world, according to traffic ranking site Alexa. However, with Facebook’s declining value and constant controversy over privacy settings and frequent layout changes, perhaps Myspace will start to take back some of its marketshare.

Co-owner Justin Timberlake, who played Facebook’s Sean Parker in The Social Network, and the Myspace team were down at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas promoting the new MySpace earlier this year. They did not provide word if the site has partnered with music service platforms such as Spotify or Rdio, or if the platform will continue to exist on its own.

They did, however, announce that the company will introduce Myspace TV in partnership with Panasonic. Timberlake and co-owner Tim Vanderhook of Specific Media announced Myspace TV would use their rights to 100,000 music videos and 42,000,000 songs, eventually expanding to television, movies and additional channels. The company will release an app for tablets and smartphones that will allow users to sync content. However, users will require a Panasonic HDTV with Viera Connect to take advantage of this.

Timberlake and Vanderhook bought Myspace for $35 million last year. News Corp previously owned the company, having bought the site for $580 million in 2005. It’s been said by many to be a dead cause, but I expect the ease of use combined with general curiosity will cause a notable spike in traffic. If the features are as slick as they look, there is likeliness of retention. Myspace is positioning itself as a complementary platform rather than a competitor, but this is thinly veiled. Right now, users can request an invitation to be notified when the platform launches.

Myspace used to be the moguls of social media, effectively squashing other networking sites such as Friendster. But it was no match for Facebook, who rendered the site almost useless as a networking platform when it skyrocketed in popularity around 2006. After this, Myspace switched its focus to music and pop culture, amping up band pages and profiles. The teaser video doesn’t offer insight into what new band pages will look like or if they will exist at all. It’s also not clear if, though seems likely, all existing profiles have been deleted.

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but could it bring MySpace back?


Sheena Lyonnais writes for Toronto Standard. You can follow her on Twitter at @SheenaLyonnais.

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