Just about one year ago, the world was all buzzing with the latest bit of social tech news. The Facebook Killer was being released and it’s name was Google+ (pronounced “Google Plus”). In case you don’t remember, it was dubbed as such because it was the grand new social network. Unlike the hundreds of others that came before it, this was built upon the backs of Google itself. The Next Web estimated an unprecendented $585 million pricetag for it’s development. It’s interface was sleek and it’s login streamlined with already popular other online Google Apps.
Google Plus launched on Sept 20, 2011 to users without a beta invite. Despite it’s forced user enrollment and integration into both the SERP’s and Google Local, the average person on the street still doesn’t use it, or think that they do. Regardless of the limited or inflated stats from Google+, it was not the first social network touted as the Death of Facebook and it surely won’t be the last. Diaspora anyone?
Well the news that’s creating a buzz now, and I’m sure you’ll likely hear about it, is the latest Facebook Killer: MySpace. WHAT? That’s right, it’s blast from the past time. This time I’m calling it right off: The New MySpace IS NOT a Facebook Killer!
Introducing the New MySpace:
..building the new Myspace, entirely from scratch. But we’re staying true to our roots in one important way — empowering people to express themselves however they want. ..
Justin Timberlake’s Specific Media bought MySpace from News Corp. in July of 2010 for around $35 million. For over 2 years, despite layoffs and redesign efforts, there hasn’t been much to be seen for the average user to come out of the redesign and new ownership.
So what’s so special about a new MySpace about to drop? Should Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or anyone else have anything to be worried about? Of course!!! I really don’t think the new MySpace is a Facebook killer but I do think that the social media landscape is shifting.
You see.. once upon a time I could find all my friends on MySpace. In it’s last year of being a juggernaut I saw tons of people that I knew in real life, who could barely navigate a computer signing up for the service and they were excited about it. A year after? Boom! Facebook was about all you could find. Facebook took over the social web because it was ALL people that you knew in real life. This solidified the social experience and pushed places like Twitter to different niches.
In the years since, we have seen Facebook rise to unprecidented heights across the globe and then slowly fall from public favor. We saw Instagram, push Flickr nearly off the map and capitalize on the growing smartphone market. We’ve seen Pinterest rise out of seemingly nowhere and nearly bury places like StumbleUpon and Delicious. The more we see new social networks come out of necessity and opportunity, the more we see any one social network lose it’s iron-clad grasp on trying to take over in totality.
Today’s social media users are all over the map. They use apps on their phones, tablets, and desktops all for specific purposes while chained down by not one in particular. Facebook is losing online time to each of these but is far from down for the count. The fact is that the future of social networking is what it’s always been: social. Users are not loyal and will jump ship or expand their social realm to fit into what they are doing and how they want to do it.
This absolutely leaves room for a new (if not old and revamped) social network like MySpace. That said, let’s introduce you to what the new MySpace has to offer and you can make up your own mind as to if it’s a Facebook killer or not.
Does the new MySpace look very slick? YES. Does it look fresh and clean and like it’s leaving it’s cluttered past behind? HELL YEAH!
That’s all well and good, but don’t forget Google Plus. They did the same thing but on a bigger budget and in over a year in they’ve only made a chink in Facebook’s armor and despite Facebook’s troubled IPO, they haven’t been resting on their laurels.
The other thing that’s been nagging me in the back of my head as I watch this video again and again is that I’ve perhaps seen something very similar looking to this before. The 2nd time through the video it struck me. If this wouldn’t have had the name MySpace attached to it, I would have thought this was Microsoft bringing it’s Windows 8 Metro interface to fruition as a viable social network. Think about it: the tiles, the social integration, the font choices and backgrounds.. they all seem eerily familiar.
Here’s Steve Ballmer and Ryan Seacrest talking about Windows 8 phones and technology at the 2012 CES (Consumer Electronics Show):
Although that doesn’t show exactly how Windows 8 Metro Tiles might fit into the new MySpace, let’s check out the Windows 8 Consumer Demo (start at 1:58) and you’ll start to see the similarities that I’m referring to.
If I was MSN – Bing, and I had money to burn, I’d snatch up the new MySpace in a heartbeat and work on integrating it to become the Facebook killer that they need it to be. And yes, I know Microsoft and Facebook are tight but Google and Yahoo were once that way too and if history teaches us anything.. where there’s room to play, you should take it.
In my opinion, the New MySpace isn’t a Facebook killer at all based off of what we’ve seen. But, it’s sleek new interface, coupled with the growing user base does lend it the room to grow. In an ever expanding and decentralized social networking scene, this could be great for everyone.
What do you think?
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