Following six months of beta testing, during which the three people who still work at Myspace (did they not get the memo that everybody left?) presumably put the new site through a battery of rigorous tests, Myspace is now ready to launch its comeback attempt.
As of today, the revamped version of the social networking site that once ruled the Internet is accepting new members. If you feel brave enough, head on over and sign up.
Don’t expect anything that looks or feels like the old Myspace, though. Gone are the customizable profile pages, featuring competing auto-play videos and hundreds of sparkly things that look like this:
Instead, new users will be greeted by a large, black and white photo of Justin Timberlake (one of Myspace’s new investors) and the promise that you’ll be able to listen to his new single, “Suit & Tie,” if you sign up (as if you can’t listen to it on every single blog on the Internet right now):
Like a few of the previous attempts to relaunch Myspace, each of which failed, this version of the site puts music front and center. It’s not about adding friends and commenting on each other’s profiles — it’s about following artists, listening to their music and learning when you can see them in concert near you. You can still post photos and status updates, but Myspace has made it very clear that it isn’t trying to compete directly with Facebook.
Interestingly, Myspace is giving users who don’t like the new design of the site the ability to switch back to the (disgustingly ugly) old design — an option that Facebook has denied its users despite how much negativity every new Facebook design iteration generates.
So… does anyone see any reason to go back to Myspace? It sure doesn’t look to be worth anyone’s time. There are a bunch of better options for those who want to stream music online, including Spotify and Rdio. If you want to share photos and status updates — and actually have your friends and family see them — Facebook is still the best option (though Twitter and Instagram are certainly in the conversation).
Even though there’s increased talk that Facebook has lost some of the magic it once had and that it could be in a death spiral, it doesn’t look like Myspace will be able to pull off what would have to be the greatest comeback story in the history of the Internet.