Fill in the ________: A New, Social Entertainment Website

myspace-logo-225MySpace, the original social networking site, has relaunched and re-branded itself as My_______ ,the world's first “Social entertainment” website.  The purpose of the website has shifted from a social networking site motivated by the slogan “a place for friends” to a site intent on “becoming the leading entertainment destination that is socially powered by the passions of fans and curators.” Essentially, the new My_______ focuses less on people and more on media and digital content sharing. The sleek new site combines the most popular features of Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Youtube into a single media focused platform. Users can now follow artists and organizations on topic pages, similar to Facebook fan pages, while receiving real time updates on the music, videos and content being heard, viewed, or uploaded by them (very reminiscent of Twitter).

In this way, members will be able to see what music their favorite opera company is listening to as well as what they are posting. Users will be shown the media that their friends are consuming, not just the media that their friends and topics are posting. It opens a new opportunity for media recommendations, community building, viral marketing, and content sharing.

These updates appear on the new homepage now referred to as the dashboard which can be viewed in three modes: list, grid, or full screen.

The list mode looks almost exactly like a Facebook news feed.  The grid view integrates watchable videos, playable songs, pictures, and micro-blogs in a chronological collage of media tiles, and the full screen mode allows users to experience their media updates in an interface similar to iTunes coverflow.

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My_______ has combined multiple features from across the web  that have never been offered in tandem before - creating a unique media viewing and sharing experience.  Some of the other new features include: interactive games, karaoke (Opera?), free music playlists creation (competing with Pandora?), and media trending.

The new interface and combination of features could prove very useful to cultural institutions and arts managers if the user base is willing to readopt a floundering platform.

The largest obstacle for the new My______ is the old MySpace.  The relaunch comes after one of the worst years in the company's history.  MySpace lost 50% of its user base between 2009 and 2010, a critical hit for the organization and a terrible loss for its functional use as a communications tool and social network.  The new My________ is much more in line with Internet usage interests and behaviors of Millenials, but it is not yet clear if they will return to the site.

Connect with FacebookIn order to make the transition smoother and help regain customers, My______ has paired with Facebook to create what they are calling a mashup, in which My_______ takes all of a user’s profile information, friends, and likes from Facebook and imports them into a My_______ page; making the process of setting up a new functioning account much quicker and helping users grasp the changes and full functionality of the site much faster.  This partnership bodes well for My_______ and provides a clear focus away from social networking and onto new media and digital content sharing.

For arts organizations and non-profits that are currently tweeting links to content on Twitter, uploading videos to YouTube, and sharing pictures and events on Facebook, the new My_______ offers a single platform that will combine all three. A one-stop shop for all of your social entertainment and digital media needs. The ability for pictures and videos to appear directly in a news feed like Twitter but with a usable interface like Facebook is very desirable and something that I believe has huge potential.  Pairing the interface with the content and media focus allows for a more streamlined experience that is not diluted by the social aspect of Facebook and Twitter.  The New My_______ is definitely trying to steer away from content that does not surround music, media or artists in some way.

The ability to create opera karaoke, post audio excerpts from a concert, or share video from a stage production or event that are instantly previewable and clickable in a media focused feed that is more graphic than Twitter, less convoluted than a YouTube subscription, and easier to deliver than Facebook is very enticing.  If users begin to adopt the new My_______, it seems only natural for organizations to follow. Only time will tell if this snazzy new facelift will take off, but the potential is definitely real.