MySpace has gone to art school. The social network's long-delayed remodel got a sneak peak at the MySpace home page Monday and was previewed in a 2:18 video. No specific launch date was given.
In contrast to the original MySpace, a clash of colors and styles, the new version is the work of a thoughtful, skilled graphic arts team. Lines are clean. There is an emphasis on big, bold images. It's a pleasure to view.
The new MySpace is still a social network. In fact, it's an open social network: users can sign up and invite friends using Facebook and Twitter. The video revealed that Twitter updates will be included in a person's MySpace news feed, but no Facebook updates were seen in the video.
One sign of music in the video is a profile section called "mixes." One presumes this is the current incarnation of MySpace Music, the ad-supported, on-demand streaming service that launched in 2008. Unfortunately, the video does not show how MySpace users create the mixes that go into their profiles.
There is more music on the MySpace "Discover" page. The "Trending" page has editorial on popular musicians, interviews, concert reviews, music news and new music information. The "Songs" page has lists of new and popular artists that can be dragged and dropped for listening, sharing and creating playlists. The Discover page also has a section for videos.
There is also a "Radio" section. The video does not show the radio page, however. MySpace already has the radio service it launched in December, although one can assume it, like everything else at MySpace, has been overhauled. MySpace has a 30 million-song catalog to work with and growing competition in the Internet radio space. A good radio product could go a long way.
The Discover section of MySpace also has an "Events" section. This is where MySpace should be able to bring out partnerships with ticketing companies and hopefully put together something exciting with a concert listing service such as Songkick or Bandsintown.
And like the previous incarnation of MySpace, the new MySpace appears to emphasize celebrity artists. Part-owner Justin Timberlake is heavily featured in the video. His profile shows his music videos, posts photos and lists his albums and music mixes. Artists get an analytical feature called "Top Fans" that provide the demographics and source of their top fans. Artists also get the ability to send messages specifically to those top fans.