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The former top dog social network gets a new logo and site design to become social entertainment hub
Myspace unveiled Wednesday a comprehensive company rebranding and site redesign, an ambitious effort to reclaim some of the service’s former glory lost over the years to Facebook and Twitter.
The site has, over the years, slowly inched away from its identity as just a social network. Today, Myspace aims to be a social entertainment destination for Generation Y, that ambiguous demographic of individuals born somewhere between the mid-1970s and the early 2000s.
“This marks the beginning of an exciting turning point for Myspace,” proclaims Mike Jones, CEO of Myspace (the lower-case “s” in “space” is just another part of the site rebranding). “Our new strategy expands on Myspace’s existing strengths – a deep understanding of social, a wealth of entertainment content and the ability to surface emerging cultural trends in real time through our users.”
The most intriguing and obvious change has to be the new minimalist logo, which drops the word “space” in favor of an actual symbolically underscored space.
Says the company in a statement:
“The bracket in the logo represents a space where people can express themselves, enabling users to personalize the logo and make it their own – just as they can throughout Myspace.”
Backing the logo transformation are other aesthetic changes like an updated color palette and improved navigation.
And then there are the more meaty changes.
The redesigned Myspace homepage will be a hub of content being shared on the site in real-time. Registered users, who will see content tailored to their interests, can choose between three different layouts for the homepage: list view, grid view (“magazine” style), and play view (a video-based format).
Myspace is also launching a bevy of new products whose intent is to bolster the quantity and quality of content on the site. For example, users will be able to find 20,000 “entertainment-focused” topic pages, each of which aggregates content from a mix of media sources, including MTV, The New York Times and Village Voice.
In the end, no one can argue about the facts. Myspace has lost tens of millions of users over the course of just a few short years. But that doesn’t necessarily mean all hope is lost. While it might not be the current social network of choice (Facebook’s title in most of the world), Myspace has some things going for it. Myspace Music, for one, must undoubtedly be the Web’s most comprehensive resource for music samples from bands as big as The Beatles and as tiny as Timmy’s garage band next door.
If the site redesign funnels content to users in meaningful and lasting ways, Myspace could survive and (gasp!) gain users. But it will be a battle.
The Myspace redesign will roll out to users in beta starting today and will be available worldwide by the end of November. All new users immediately see the new beta site.
Mobile users will see the beta site in their browsers soon and iPhone and Android apps are slated for release by the end of 2010.
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What is Twitter?
Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from Twitter.com, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests.
Where did the idea for Twitter come from?
Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.
How is Twitter built?
Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes.
We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.
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There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.
In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within Twitter.com, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet.
At the same time, we launched Promoted Trends, where companies can place a trend (clearly marked Promoted) within Twitter's Trending Topics. These are especially effective for upcoming launches, like a movie or album release.
Lastly, we started a Twitter account called @earlybird where we partner with other companies to provide users with a special, short-term deal. For example, we partnered with Virgin America for a special day of fares on Virginamerica.com that were only accessible through the link in the @earlybird tweet.
What's next for Twitter?
We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users.
We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.