This past Tuesday MySpace.com showed a tease of a major site re-design to try to bring them back to social relevance. But I’ve done this long enough to not be won over by a slick video alone and spent a little time look for the substance beneath the shine.
My first impression was that the new Myspace looks like what would happen if Pinterest created a Metro style app for Windows 8. I say this because moving between different content is clearly reminiscent of Windows 8 and the photo albums, videos and playlists have a more than passing resemblance to Pinterest. There seems to be a real emphasis on music with a music player in the bottom navigation and some of the content was for Justin Timberlake and how his Myspace community could work. It’s also looks like they’re going after a tablet first design strategy but it is hard to be completely sure since everything was shown in a fixed 16:9 ratio without a browser.
So while the design is slick I didn’t see anything more substantial than the design and so before they launch this new site I hope they take the time to study the latest Google+ re-design because I think they are headed down the same road. Google+ also did a great re-design but no one cared because even the best new design isn’t a big enough differentiator to get people to change their established rituals with Facebook and Twitter. If you want to create share shift and have your site get real traction then you have to create tangible and unique functionality. You only need to look at Pinterest to see that this is true. Pinterest didn’t try to become the next Facebook or Twitter because they created something totally new and this was what made them a success while so many others have failed.
It will be interesting to see the final site when it launches and see if they are able to bring anything new to the table beyond the design. Either way you know the most popular page on the whole site is going to be ‘forgot my password’.