Myspace has just announced a brand new look and complete overhaul of the site, following the site's acquisition by Specific Media last year, with singer Justin Timberlake one of the main players.

New MySpace

The new Myspace unveiled a teaser page as well as a video showcasing the new features on the site at new.myspace.com.

One of the first changes for the site is the decapitalisation of the 's' in the name. Left behind are the days of MySpace, in 2012 it is Myspace, possibly a change to go alongside the sleeker interface.

The last time Myspace enjoyed this much attention was back in 2005, when it boasted hundreds of millions of users. User numbers started to decrease rapidly as people favoured newcomers Facebook and Twitter.

Slowly, Myspace became the site of choice for musicians and their audiences, especially independent artists. The new Myspace is trying to recapture this and bring it back on a bigger scale, by setting itself out to build a community for musicians and their fans.

In the teaser video, the emphasis is put on the sharing side of music, with the site using a recommendation and sharing engine rather than just relying on a search engine, while the media player enables social discovery.

The site is of course playing on its association to Timberlake, now part-owner of the site. It is hoping to offer an incentive to artists to build a community around their pages.

Myspace's move into the market of music social platforms has prompted the social network to be compared to sites such as Spotify and Pandora. But Phillip Dyte, paid social media planner at iProspect, says there are differences between both sites, and there is the opportunity for both of them to co-exist.

"Myspace is repositioning itself as a social layer service, letting people sign up through Facebook and Twitter. It's not trying to be a social network again. And while Spotify appears as an obvious competitor, both sites are built differently.

"Spotify started off as a service and then added the social aspects. On top of that, it allows exclusive integration with Facebook. The new Myspace, in comparison, was built from the ground up and allows sign ups from both Facebook and Twitter. Myspace still has the opportunity to be something different", explains Dyte.

"Both sites do overlap, but Myspace could be quite successful in the US, where Spotify's presence hasn't really picked up yet. And though the radio feature is comparable to Pandora, Myspace is quite different."

In recent months, and since the acquisition [by Specific Media in June 2011], Myspace has stopped losing users and even reversed the trend, securing one million new users. "That was a bit of a surprise, and no one was expecting it to happen."

Relaunch

One of the interesting facts about the relaunch is that Myspace, being owned by a major ad network, will be able to make a lot of money. And if Specific Media can play it right, Myspace will become a very interesting platform for advertisers.

"Specific Media is one of the biggest ad networks in the world. And they know all about targeting adverts. If they use that knowledge and the data they will collect from Myspace users, they will be able to make things very interesting for advertisers and make a lot of money." Dyte adds.

"But then, in a way, they do have a weakness. Because they opted for an integrated sign-up with other sites, the data will be collected mostly by the other sites. The reason they decided to go with a sign up through Facebook and Twitter is to attract more users and make it simpler to join the site. But it also means they do not collect the data.

Of course Myspace will be able to get some of this data from Open Graph, but ultimately Facebook's ad targeting may grow from it."

Overall, Myspace's relaunch has been a success so far, attracting a load of curious people leaving their email address to get an invitation. And while there is still an area of uncertainty - no one can say for sure this will be an actual success in the long run - the results have been better than expected by most.

"The way Myspace has gone around to doing this was very smart. It is not trying to fool people into denying the last five, seven years have been pretty bad. There has been a lot of humility coming from Myspace." concludes Dyte.