Myspace is back, once again. This time, after realizing how much it used to suck, it wiped out all of the old stuff. I was invited to use the New Myspace early, and it’s definitely something different: a different brand of stupid.
Now beginning its third life, Myspace seems to be in some miserable cycle of reincarnation.
Myspace was pretty bad from day one, but it was huge because nobody knew any better. Then Facebook came along and stole its thunder. In its second life, Myspace’s new corporate owners tried to give it a boost with a tacky redesign, fixing none of its underlying problems. It sucked.
Now, under the command of Justin Timberlake and company, Myspace is trying to be something completely new. And only because it used to influence millions and millions of people, we’re paying attention. Does Myspace deserve one last chance?
The New Myspace has a lot going on. It’s essentially Spotify-esque music streaming, YouTube-esque video streaming, faux tweets, and a faux Facebook News Feed, all blended together. But there’s really no clear way to use the New Myspace. It’s running in too many directions at once, so when you look at it for the first time, you’re lost.
When you sign up, you have the option of signing in with Facebook or Twitter. While that’s a good move, Myspace is still another social network. We already have Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and plenty of others, so Myspace really needs to bring something new to the table that makes it worthwhile. It doesn’t.
New Myspace has a news feed similar to Facebook’s, showing the latest things your friends have done—songs they’ve played, videos they’ve watched, musicians they’ve liked, etc. But it scrolls sideways. What?
It’s also jittery.
There’s a vast catalog of streaming music—with all the major labels on board—but no intuitive way to browse. You can scroll (again, sideways) through playlists your friends have created, but that’s a slow, painful process of swimming through big thumbnails. You can search, but that brings up artists’ catalogs, unsorted, with a bunch of “related artists” thrown in. It’s terrible.
You can connect to “friends” and “artists,” and in turn, messages and other shared content from them will appear on your feed. You can click on that content, ideally finding things that will enrich your life, but it doesn’t work very well. You don’t exactly know what you’re sharing, with whom, or why.
The interface itself, although beautiful, is very confusing. Any social network should come with easy functionality. If I hover over someone’s name, I don’t want to see a ridiculous venn diagram of their “affinity.” What?
The New Myspace looks great at a glance. The typography is modern and attractive, the colors are pleasant, and there are plenty of high-res images to look at. There are also some clever hidden features: if you start typing anywhere on the site, the entire window converts into a giant instant search screen. Very cool.
But that’s not enough. Nothing comes together, nothing works the way it should, and nothing is easy to find. None of New Myspace’s features work well with the others. Nobody will have the patience to scroll (sideways) through their news feed, which is overwhelmed by chunky updates that make it impossible to skim.
The New Myspace isn’t offering anything you don’t already have in a more organized capacity.There’s really no reason to use the New Myspace. It’s still unclear to me what exactly New Myspace is. A social network? Not really—maybe a bad one. A music discovery service? Perhaps one that needs to get its shit together. A photo sharing site? No.
But it resembles all of these things.
The New Myspace isn’t offering anything you don’t already have in a more organized capacity. For friends, use Facebook. For music, use Spotify. For short status updates, use Twitter.
The New Myspace, just like the old Myspace, is not worth your time.