Early exploration of Myspace is invitation-only

Biola students and staff respond to the new Myspace.



Katie Nelson, Writer

Courtesy | alphabetpony.com.au

Celebrity investor Justin Timberlake tweeted a promotion on Sept. 24 advertising the new Myspace relaunch. The site is currently out in limited release for people to explore by invitation only.

However, some Biolans seem to be apathetic towards the new Myspace.

Junior music performance and music education major Darlene Favenir said that she thought singers and songwriters — and especially students — could use Myspace to gain exposure. However, she thought it best suited for those pursuing modern music, rather than classical, like in her case.

“If I did write songs or something, maybe, but I feel like Myspace is more for the mainstream stuff,” she said. “I feel like it’s a really good outlet for some of the bands we have around here [at Biola].”

Look and branding

The revamped social media site is trying out a new approach to its original design, looking a lot less like its rival Facebook and a lot more like the photo-sharing site Pinterest due to the emphasis on images and horizontal scrolling.

In addition to the new layout, Myspace is rebranding itself to have more of a music-based function, according to an article by Slate magazine. This stems from a previous effort by undiscovered musicians to launch their careers via the social networking site. Artists like Colbie Caillat and Hollywood Undead were first heard on Myspace. In an effort to continue this trend, a major portion of the site will be devoted to marketing budding artists and musicians.

Sophomore biblical studies major Michelle Verougstraete said that she thought Myspace would struggle to compete with more established music outlets.

“I don’t know, with something like YouTube, whether people would be interested in that sort of thing,” she said. “Only because there already is a very successful marketing tool for that sort of thing.”

Will students use it?

Despite the celebrity figure and redesign attached to Myspace, a question that has arisen is whether or not Biola students will take renewed interest in a site whose heyday occurred during their middle school years.

“Myspace was such a big deal early on in the social media story, but it quickly became … outdated and kind of the laughingstock [of social media],” said Biola social media manager and university writer Brett McCracken. “It remains to be seen whether the original Myspace [users] will return or a new generation of young people … will now get back into it because it’s something new.”

McCracken added there does not appear to be a clamoring among social media users for a Myspace return, but that self-promoting musicians may find a niche in the site’s redesign.

Despite past criticism of Myspace’s security features, McCracken emphasized the strength of newness in terms of social media. This, he says, could potentially be its saving grace.

“In the world of social media there’s definitely a lot of power in the new, so whenever you’re the new thing on the block and you’re different, I think people often have a short attention span,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Myspace became the next new thing just because it’s different, but the verdict is still out on whether it will be successful.”

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