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03/10/2012 by

MySpace Strikes Back! Or Dead Man Walking?

MySpace will be revamped with a new, catchy and eye-candy design soon. And while most are discussing the new design, this story will give you some other interesting insights on the possible new strategic course of MySpace.

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Most captains of industry declared their opinions a few years ago: “MySpace? It is a dead man walking social network”.

But Specific Media and Justin Timberlake seem to be repositioning MySpace from a social network towards an interest network. Will they succeed?

As you might have noticed in above video, the new MySpace design is borrowing a lot from Pinterest and Windows8.

And we think that MySpace is no longer aiming to be a social network or a vertical social network, but trying to be an interest network.

That would be a strategic smart move. Why? Because we are human beings that mostly think in AND / OR.

We mostly tend to look at who’s the biggest. But for the ones that can think beyond reach and understand we mostly live in a AND/ AND world, could discover something interesting.

MySpace could be able to fuel relationships between consumers and music – entertainment brands.

Claiming a domain / topic/ passion is often very smart. Why? Because only be one social network can the biggest. And that is without a doubt Facebook. But there is much room in the world of vertical social networks or in the interest graph.

So we’d like to show you a 360 look on the new MySpace. The new strategic course was launched one year ago.

Please read our story: MySpace Revamp With iTunes, Spotify & Vevo?

Here are some recent quotes on the new MySpace design:

Wired’s Ian Steadman: “Once-dominant now-withered social network MySpace has returned with new owners and a new design -and, in all honesty, it looks pretty cool.”

VentureBeat’s Sean Ludwig concurred, calling it “absolutely stunning.”

Bloomberg BusinessWeek tech columnist Ben Kunz tweeted: “If you haven’t seen the new MySpace redesign, you’re missing something. It makes FB look like MS-DOS.”

Igor Beuker: “Eye-candy, slick design with great UI and Zite-alike personalization possibilities”.

Beyond design and UI, I think that MySpace has learned how differentiation could be their last option. Their disruptive innovation strategy a new positioning might be their smartest decision made in years.

People around the world seem to have embraced Facebook as their #1 global social network. And most consumers might have space for one (or 2) local social networks in their portfolio or evoked set.

But the same consumers that are using Facebook + a local social network, will be using many vertical interest networks.

The Interest Graph

MySpace could be claiming that role as music interest network. Certainly if can aggregate and curate several music services and pieces of content that are now fragmented and shattered all over the web.

So in my opinion we should not look at MySpace as a social network, and stop comparing it to Facebook. MySpace seems to be transforming itself to the interest graph, clearly trying to reconnect to passionate music lovers.

If MySpace understands this strategic direction, and is able to stick to the interest network course, I believe it will strike back, and proof it is not a dead man walking.

What About You?

I would love to read the feedback from the music and marketing community in the comments below.

Today Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer unveiled the “new” portal. I was shocked, but not in a positive way.

In NBC’s Today Show Mayer unveiled a new look for Yahoo’s home page and mobile sites. Yes we agree, it looks cleaner, but it is more a refresh than a re-design.

“We wanted it to be familiar but we also wanted it to embrace some of the modern paradigms of the web,” Mayer said on the show this morning.

The central new component is a newsfeed running down the center of page that is supposed to be personalized to a visitor’s reading habits as well as what their Facebook friends have liked and read if they log in using a Facebook ID. “It’s more personalized and it’s more dynamic,” Ms. Mayer said.

The company said the new look would be rolled out to all Yahoo users over the next few days.

The new look is the biggest attempt to date to give current Yahoo visitors a reason to “come back each day.” Yahoo doesn’t exactly have an audience size problem – with more than 170 million visitors in the U.S. each month – but it is facing declining engagement among those users.

Yahoo has recently topped analysts’ modest expectations for revenue growth. Last month, it posted 2012 fourth-quarter sales of $1.22 billion.

The stock is up 34% since Mayer took over, with investors buoyed by her credibility, her new management team, and recent updates to Yahoo Mail and the Flickr photo-sharing service.

Mayer was a longtime Google executive and one of its first employees.

My Opinion?
I was shocked that this Yahoo refresh even got airtime on NBC.

It might as well have been an advertorial or sponsored story.

Sure it’s a site refresh but nothing similar to i.e. the new MySpace relaunch.

Agreed, Yahoo’s # of UVs in the U.S is still very okay, and so are its revenues. But Yahoo seems stuck in the middle?

From its start Yahoo was a destination portal, but with smart features lie: ICQ, Yahoo Mail, loads of personalization features and a very good search engine.

Today Yahoo proved that my purple loyalty has been false hope for years.

What I saw today was just a new site design, with no added value at all. Yahoo is still a destination portal stuck in the middle: It still has a poor search engine, and lacks social or interest graph specials for its users.

Personalization features? Yeah right, today’s Yahoo members get less than the ones 10-15 years ago. The period in which their search engine was still very good.

Sorry Yahoo, you are like, a destination portal with a poor search engine. And portals like that in the end will be perish, not profit.

Marissa Mayer, some expected you to come back with a master plan. A strategic new direction for Yahoo the coming 3-5 years.

But if this is your first big punch, you are a MMA or K-1 fighter without a knock-out.

I do hope that Yahoo is able to grab and monetize the last arena left: the mobile space.

But if that fails, I guess Yahoo will be for sale on eBay in 3-5 years from now.

What About You?
Did Yahoo’s relaunch meet your expectations? What tips do you have for Marissa Mayer? I’d love to see your opinion or tips in the comments below.

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About the Author
Igor Beuker was CMO at 3 listed companies, chairman at the IAB, jury member at Webby, AMMA and Esprix awards, founder of 3 digital agencies (sold to WPP) and global chief social officer at Mindshare. Now he is ‘freejack’ consultant and a sought after keynote speaker

Source: AdAge and ViralBlog.


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