It’s official: Myspace has been revamped. As you may have seen in a teaser video released in late September, the site got a serious makeover and is currently in beta testing, slowly being released to the world on an invite only basis. And it looks surprisingly sleek! Fuse attended an official preview of the site on Thursday in Los Angeles, where Justin Timberlake, who is a stake holder in the company, walked us through "the invention of the new Myspace."
Here are six of the coolest features that Timberlake and his Myspace counterparts shared with us:
The new Myspace is laid out like a page in a magazine with the master navigation bar at the bottom of the screen, allowing for horizontal scrolling. Hey, that's different. You can comment on people’s photos and check out new music without ever leaving the main page that you're on. In addition, the site's new owners are requiring users to upload high resolution images in order to "keep it classy."
"When I first saw the design, I as like, 'Whoa!'" says Timberlake of the site’s recent facelift. "This is not a rebranding of something that already existed, this is an invention – not a reinvention."
The Myspace investor/actor/pop star says not only will he have his own profile on the new Myspace, but will also personally manage his page — a trend that he’s hoping other artists will follow after being exposed to the new layout of the site.
"I would think that what we're creating will promote them to be more like that and allow you to see their real colors and individuality come out," he said. "As a fan, those have always been the types of artists that I've gravitated towards — even since I was a little kid."
The new site is structured to be a place where artists, musicians, writers, photographers, filmmakers and hobbyists of all abilities can come together to represent their works "in the best possible light." Fans can connect with their favorite bands and will have the opportunity to express themselves through selecting a signature "profile song." Users can also create multi-media "mixes," which combine music, photos and videos into one playlist as a means of sharing the story behind their latest creations.
"If I were to put a song out for instance, I know that I can paint a whole picture to let you know what that moment was like in the studio for me," explained Timberlake. "That's what we do in the studio — we have inspiration boards, we listen to other music, our friends come in and out, we hear about life experiences, they inspire other songs… I want that to be available for all different types of artists."
The "Discover" feature allows users to browse through trending content, up and coming music, people of interest, create personalized radio stations and to peruse a variety of multi-media galleries and Myspace generated editorial content. CEO Tim Vanderhook says that this function will allow people to stumble upon a variety of new music, art and friends, thus expanding their interests. Added Timberlake, "The design is sleek and fun. This is a place where you can constantly discover whatever you want to discover."
And when the prospect of using the site to "holler" at members of, ahem, sexual interest came up, Timberlake grinned, flashed his wedding ring, and said, "I ain't hollering at nobody!"
The new site will provide artists with an arsenal of analytics, including fan demographics, "top fans" of the week and access to their most influential supporters. In addition, Myspace will actually tell you whether or not you’ll enjoy connecting with a particular person or listening to a specific song based upon your "affinity"percentage.
"I've always said you need a curator for the Internet. With affinity, I can just mouse over an artist or a song or a person and see how relevant it is to me based on my connections, my music consumption, my library — all these things. It's great way to save people time and surface something to them that might be interesting to them," says Myspace CEO Chris Vanderhook.