Yep, I’m Too Old for the New MySpace

By  |  Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 12:42 pm

From what I can tell, the new MySpace is absolutely nutty. Just look at the screenshots and footage of the site’s ground-up reboot, as posted at All Things D. At a glance, it’s a vaguely decipherable mess of pop culture, status updates, thumbnail photos and usage data. I’m terrified by the mere thought of hanging out there.

Presumably, there’s a generation of users who won’t be. The new MySpace is aiming strictly for a young crowd, ages 13 to 35, Bloomberg reports. It’ll give users the choice of three interfaces, only one of which resembles the old style of personal user pages. The other two options are filled with recommendations for music, videos, games and people you might like, either as a patchwork of thumbnails (pictured) or a slideshow of content.

At 27, I’m technically still cool enough to hang with MySpace’s target demographic, but I don’t see the point. Maybe it’s just me, but the idea of “discovery” — the process of hunting through the Internet for unfamiliar bands or films — isn’t as alluring as MySpace thinks it is. In my (not so) old age, I get recommendations from a small group of trusted friends, or from what MOG and Pandora happen to blend into my playlists. Who has time to cultivate a MySpace profile just to get a few more suggestions?

If there is a demographic that will dig MySpace, it’s probably a lot narrower than 13 to 35. And that’s the heart of the problem. The appeal of active discovery is so limited that MySpace has little chance of scaling up to be the cultural force it once was. While Facebook also started out by focusing on young people, the core idea of connecting people online appeals to everyone. The site was built to grow.

MySpace, however, will be pigeonholed as a place for kids — at least until the next desperate redesign.


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2 Comments For This Post

  1. evologynow Says:

    It's funny because I feel like over the years the Internet has made us much less active discoverers too, don't you think? The new myspace might have been more appealing if we didn't have to work for it…

  2. Casey Castille Says:

    I completely agree with evologynow on both counts. This may be a product of my age as well (thirty-five), but I've been far less active in my discovery of new media over the past few years. I love new music, I'm a musician myself, but I don't have the time or energy to wade through all the "suggestions". What the internet has allowed me to do is become a passive discoverer – that is, I let my friends, acquaintances and the authors of the blogs I regularly read ferret out the good stuff. I know it will eventually come my way, and it will come via people who generally know my tastes and personality far better than a few pages of code ever could.

    As for the appeal of MySpace (or the lack thereof), yes – don't make me work for it! It's been moving toward being a jumbled mess for the past year, and in that time, I've logged in exactly twice. Looking at that screenshot makes me want to run far, far away in the opposite direction. I hope the fourteen-year-olds understand it.