Myspace: A Social Jukebox
Before Facebook, there was Myspace. Today, there is an extraordinary attempt being made to revive the purgatorial roaming social media giant of the past. Having tested the beta version of what was then called the “New Myspace,” I find it to be a big jukebox with a modern horizontal scrolling design.
Why do I call it a jukebox? That really is what it seems to be built to be. You can find a fair amount of music on the website by simply typing the name of the artist you are looking for or the name of the song while on any Myspace page. If you don’t know how to spell it, there is likely a page or list that has your spelling included for the song or artist you are thinking of. The music available is not just older music that’s copyright has expired.
It is a community for music lovers and is constantly evolving. There seems to be a younger crowd actually participating in the community. Myspace has fans and artists on there just like on Facebook but there are some artists that actually reach out to you and ask for your feedback. Through a little bit of music discovery on different artists pages, I came to listen to an artist’s music from Spain and so I “connected” to a couple of her songs and sure enough, I was able to chat with her the next day. That has happened to me a couple of times as I listen to all types of music from just about any singer I can listen to. That is something that I was never able to actually do on another site before. Not only is it great for myself as the listener, but it is wonderful for the artist to be able to do some self-promoting if they can’t afford the million dollar ad campaigns.
For those of you thinking that this sounds like something that you can get elsewhere, you are mostly right. What Myspace has to offer over the rest of the crowd is that there is an active community of music lovers that create pretty amazing “Mixes” (playlists) and they include a fair amount of new music for free with very minimal ads (I have only seen about 6 in the life of my new account). There is no fee for using Myspace as of now. Once you register for Myspace, you have access to their limitless library of audio, video and other music related information.
If you are also interested in a little bit of news surrounding pop culture, you can likely find it on Myspace. There are individuals dedicating their whole profile to distributing online news and gossip.
There is an app for Myspace as well. There is an app for Apple’s iOS platform that lets you do just about anything you can do on the desktop version but last time I was on an Android device, the app there was very limiting to viewing profiles and completely skipped over their music feature.
The look and feel of Myspace completely changed. There is a Windows 8 feel to the website. Those of you that have Windows 8 know what I mean by this. You run into a horizontal scrolling area that has a clean grid look to it. The Myspace menus and player are all darker greys and black. The grid feature dominates any page that you navigate to.
This is especially true when you get to your own section or “Stream” as it is currently called. The Stream holds updates from anybody and anything that you have connected to and you can trim down your Stream simply by deselecting a few categories.
One other noticeable change in Myspace is that the profiles are no longer fully customizable and allows very light editing to your profile. This is, in my opinion, one of the greatest features of the current Myspace. The previous version was too involved and everybody figured they were a web designer or developer. I have to admit that it was fun for a while but it got old and somewhat annoying. The old MySpace profiles became an eyesore once web design became more of a factor to the way we view a page.
All things considered, I still consider Myspace to be a very large jukebox. In some cases, you are able to add some interaction between artists and their fans. You are also able to load your own creations and share them. The most significant change of Myspace, however, is how the user interacts with their minimalistic, audio-centric environment.