Facing large financial losses and a declining user base, MySpace is seeking to remake itself as an entertainment hub rather than a direct competitor to social networking titan Facebook. Parent company News Corp. hopes that a redesigned MySpace homepage offering quick access to the site's most popular music and videos will prove a strong draw to younger users. Will MySpace turn around its falling fortunes by becoming a "social entertainment" site? (Watch a promo for the new MySpace)
This bold move just might work: This is probably the "smartest move" MySpace could have made, says Devindra Hardawar at Venture Beat. "Instead of trying to compete with Facebook as a social network — a game Myspace has clearly lost" — MySpace is "bringing something new to the table." The new look "cleaner and more elegant" than its "nightmarish," user-unfriendly old design.
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It might be too late to save MySpace: MySpace was once "the greatest social networking site" around, says Adam Boult at The Guardian, but it has become a "virtual ghost town" as all but the "die-hards" have posted "gone to Facebook" and moved on. On one hand, the redesign is "long overdue" — on the other, MySpace's "often amateur, mish-mash aesthetic was all part of the charm." Either way, getting more slick is unlikely to bring back the good old days of 2006.
Don't write out the death certificate just yet: MySpace has been "all but eclipsed by Facebook and Twitter," says Miguel Helft at The New York Times. But even with its ad income in freefall, MySpace still has 120 million members and the respect of entertainment industry advertisers. After all, its ads still reach a quarter of U.S. internet users, so "even a diminished MySpace is far from irrelevant."
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