Here’s a thought guaranteed to make you feel old: today’s high schoolers have probably never used Myspace. There’s a good chance they don’t even know what it is.
The social network that was once the king of the hill saw its traffic numbers get surpassed by Facebook in early 2008, but all the cool kids had already jumped ship. Myspace languished for the next several years, changing ownership and trying (and failing) to recapture the clout that it once had. It became a punchline.
Last year, Myspace was sold for a reported $35 million, way less than the $580 million is sold for just a few years earlier. Rupert Murdoch said that buying Myspace was a “huge mistake.” In the eyes of most industry insiders, the site was dead for good.
Enter: Justin Timberlake.
The singer/actor who portrayed one of the most crucial people in Facebook’s success in The Social Network is involved with a team that wants to make Myspace relevant again. The site is preparing to relaunch (it’s currently offering the chance to sign up for an invitation) not as a competitor to Facebook, but as a supplement.
Specifically, it looks like it will be positioned as a place for artists–musicians, photographers, designers, etc.–to make connections and showcase their work. Sort of a LinkedIn for the creative class, maybe.
It’s probably still a long-shot to say that the new Myspace will be successful, but the little bits that we’ve seen so far look really good. Watch that video above. The design actually looks really impressive. It take a lot more than a slick design to make a site a success (one could argue that Facebook’s design is pretty hideous), but it’s a step in the right direction.
Anyone going to sign up for an invitation?