Is Justin Timberlake bringing Myspace back? – Doubtful

This week Myspace teased a sleek, impressive, and flashy new look. They reconstructed their design with a heavy focus on music, photos and video. The new layout is clean and well-organized with the vision of a social network that encourages consuming and sharing content, especially music. To be honest, the new look is intriguing and it has me interested in giving it a try. But Myspace’s challenge won’t be getting people to give it a test-run, it will be convincing people to stick around. Unfortunately, there are three reasons the new Myspace could ultimately fail:

First, check out the preview here:

1. The Myspace Bland Brand

  • Is it possible to think of Myspace and take it seriously? Can you associate it with anything other than spam, dial-up internet, AOL, and everything else from 2003? The biggest obstacle in the relaunch is the fact that the brand may not have any value left. Most of us have moved on from MySpace and we remember it now as a joke or an old friend we’re glad moved away. The stigma behind it at this point is probably too negative and this presents a major challenge for them. It will likely prove to be too much to overcome.

2. Social Network Overload

  • At the end of the day, the question isn’t about whether Myspace will be good or not, it’s about whether or not it will be so good that it compels people to change networks completely. The problem is that there are too many social networks already established. The fun of social media is to be where your friends are. Myspace will have trouble convincing the masses to make a change, convincing a few people to switch isn’t good enough. Is a new look with cool pictures, a unique layout, and some Justin Timberlake songs going to do that? We’ll forward this question over to Google+.

3. Desktop Woes

  • The new Myspace design looks great, that’s for sure. But the layout is heavily dependent on pictures and panels that move horizontally. It seems unlikely that this will translate well to mobile devices, especially since phone screens are now more vertical and less horizontal. As social media grows it becomes more and more of a mobile-based experience. Take Twitter for example, 60% of users access the platform via mobile devices. This is a number that is only going to grow in the future. Myspace seems destined to fail (again) if they are banking on a new look that can only be experienced on a computer.

Of course, there’s the chance that MySpace will actually succeed. Perhaps the masses will flock back to their old friend and leave Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest in the dust. Perhaps people don’t really think of Myspace as old or washed up. And maybe Myspace can find a way to create a great App that makes the mobile experience even better than expected. These are big obstacles to overcome and it doesn’t seem likely to happen.

What do you think? Would you go back to Myspace?