MySpace relaunches, looks fantastic

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CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

Could MySpace actually have passed through the valley of shadow and back into the light of cool?

The new MySpace home page, designed by Aussie Joseph Mark.
(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)

MySpace's new owners, which includes actor/recording star Justin Timberlake, are launching a revamped service.

A video found at features a slick video touting a service flush with photos, video and music from young and beautiful people, and cheekily playing "Heartbeat" by Jjamz ("Maybe I'm ashamed to want you back, maybe I'm afraid you'll never stay ..."). Yep — as expected, MySpace appears to be coming back as a media-centric social-networking service. The Financial Times spotted the new teaser clip first.

Managers posted a note that says, in part: "We're staying true to our roots".

The new design comes courtesy of Brisbane-based web designer Joseph Mark, whose work includes The Global Mail and music-discovery site We Are Hunted — both of which are beautifully designed, with slick user interfaces.

Before Facebook began stomping all over MySpace in 2008, the then-top social network had become a powerful music platform. If you were in the music business in whatever capacity, you had to visit the site regularly. So the site's new leadership isn't going to try to reinvent the wheel.

A few days ago, we would have said that the odds of MySpace coming back from the dead — or, at least, returning from its current state of suspended animation — to regain its past glory were very long, but between the video and Joseph Mark, it looks as though MySpace just might be able to pull off a Lazarus.

Next up: MySpace will likely have to compete for eyeballs with Facebook, with its 955 million users. Then there are players such as Spotify and YouTube, which already offer ways for people to share music and videos.

Interestingly, the new site will offer two options for new accounts (we're guessing our dusty old accounts got chucked out some time ago): a straight-up new MySpace account, or a log-in through Facebook or Twitter, which allows you to connect with both friends and fan pages. Once you've connected via Facebook or Twitter, MySpace will prompt you to create a MySpace-specific password. It's a move that makes a boatload of sense when you consider that it will skip the hassle of scouring the site for your friends and re-adding all your favourite bands.

Besides, who doesn't like Timberlake? 'N Sync, "Justified", "D*** in a Box", The Social Network — the guy has some sizeable celebrity, which can't be overlooked when trying to get an entertainment service off the ground. He won't be the day-to-day guy, obviously, but he can help boost MySpace's profile and breathe some credibility into the service.


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