Myspace, which has subtly dropped the middle Cap, used to be a big social network at the turn of the millennium. Its public profiles allowed users to upload photos, post short messages on other users’ profiles, send emails using the internal messaging system and receive updates from the much loved “Tom” (co-founder Tom Anderson, who left the company in 2009).
MySpace was probably best known for providing a way for up and coming artists to host music tracks through a customised music player. Users could add the tracks to a personalised track list on their own profiles.
The advent of Facebook led to the mass exodus of millions of users from MySpace, except for the musicians, who found the social network to be the best place to advertise themselves as a brand, not just their music. This was unlike rival website SoundCloud, which started in 2007 and focuses on being an audio distribution platform.
Facebook eventually got the hang of artist/company promotion with Facebook Pages, but Myspace continued to be the place where musicians start making a name for themselves.
So it’s no wonder that the new Myspace has a completely different focus. We spoke to Christian Parkes, Myspace’s Marketing VP who explained the change: “What you're looking at from the new Myspace is a completely different proposition from what has previously existed. When the company was sold, the new owners ushered in a new philosophy.
“We went into this with the understanding that we were building for musicians, artists and the creative communities that surround them. Central to this was the desire to build a platform that gave people the ability to connect, share and discover – in a cohesive, efficient way. It was important that we provide the best tools and functionality, accompanied by a canvas that users could make their own.”
The most interesting thing about the new Myspace is the fact that you can stream entire albums from a multitude of popular artists and replay the tracks as much as you want, completely for free.
Add to that the fact that the new Myspace is designed to work easily on tablets, and the former social network could soon give Spotify a run for its money.
“We will be integrating brands into the new Myspace as the platform evolves… just as we looked at the experience from a completely different perspective, we're applying the same approach to the business model,” said Parkes.
“Naturally, we're building for a mobile world and are working closely with our audience to shape what that looks like. I can't divulge too much as we'll be unveiling details shortly but I can confirm you'll be able to take your Top 8 with you wherever you go.”
For now, Myspace is free to sign up to, and once you set up your profile, you can search for music, add tracks to multiple playlists and even give public kudos to your favourite songs.
Getting started with Myspace
1. Head to new.myspace.com/signup. If you already have a profile on the old version of Myspace, you can sign in and update your account, start a brand new one, or create an account that’s synched with and uses account details from your existing Facebook or Twitter profiles.
2. You'll be asked to associate yourself with certain terms, such as “Musician”, “Fan”, “Comedian” or “Journalist”. Pick as many options as you like, or skip this step. On the next screen, you can connect to your friends on Facebook, Twitter and your existing friends from your old Myspace account. If you connect through Facebook, Myspace will automatically add all the artists whose Pages you liked on Facebook to your new profile.
3. Next, you need to create your profile. All information from your old profile may have been deleted. You can choose a new photo for your display picture, enter a new description of yourself, and decide if you want your profile to be Public or Restricted.
4. Now you will see your Home screen. You can post a status update in the speech bubble on the right, search for and connect with friends from other social networks, or search for tracks (we searched Duran Duran). Click one and it will play on the in-built music player. Scroll right to see fans and influencers of this band.
5. If you click on the linked circles symbol next to the track name, a menu pops up. This allows you to 'connect' to a song (i.e. like it), queue the track up to be played on your current music queue, add it to a new playlist ('mix') or share the track with people within and outside your Myspace network.
6. To make a playlist, click “add to mix” on the menu. The Create Mix screen appears where you can name your playlist, provide a description, and even upload a picture to illustrate the list.
7 Say you want to find out more about Duran Duran. The icon of the track we previously clicked was enlarged, showing more of the album cover. Clicking on the album cover again takes you to the album page, which shows the full track listing for the album, other Duran Duran fans who had connected to this song on Myspace, as well as similar artists. On the left, click on the picture of the band to go to their profile page.
8 On the band’s profile page, you can read a comprehensive biography, view photos and events and - if there’s a music video for the currently playing song - it will pop up in the righthand corner of the screen, and remain there no matter where you continue browsing on the site.
9 If you’d like to know what else is going on in the world of music, you can catch up on the latest news, single releases and exclusive performances by clicking “Discover” on the toolbar next to the music player. Scroll sideways to read articles, listen to new tracks and watch videos.