During September, MySpace saw an 18 percent drop in unique worldwide visitors when compared to the same period last year. Even worse, visitor browsing time on the website dropped 42.6 percent. The increasing popularity of other social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter likely caused these drops in MySpace’s numbers.
Rather than remaining stagnant and watching its popularity slowly dwindle, MySpace released the beta version of its new site for some of its users. New users have immediate access to the beta version, and MySpace plans to release it to all of its users worldwide by the end of November.
For now, the beta version is only available through a computer. A mobile version of the site accessible through any mobile browser will be released soon. Before the end of 2010, MySpace also plans to introduce mobile versions for Android and iPhone users.
In an effort to differentiate itself and provide more value than its competitors, MySpace decided to merge social networking with entertainment in the new beta version. The site’s marketing efforts are being aimed at users aged 13 to 35, who are said to make up “Generation Y.” By adding more entertainment-related features to the site, the social network’s developers hope it will cause users to stay logged in and surf for longer periods of time.
At the head of the new features list in the beta version is a revamped interface that is said to be more user-friendly. Site members have the option of switching between three different views to match their needs. The traditional list view is available, as is a grid view that presents content in magazine-style format. Last, but not least, is a play view that lets users view and resize updates to a full-screen size.
Personalized streams are another new addition found in the upgraded MySpace beta. These streams display content based on user preferences. To see what is hot on MySpace and what friends are viewing, there is a new discovery tab. Content hubs have also been added that show entertainment news, videos, and more. MySpace has also injected content from entertainment providers such as MTV and Access Hollywood, to name a couple.
Only time will tell if MySpace’s revamped beta version helps the site regain popularity. If the site does make progress, it should be interesting to see if its social networking competitors decide to follow in its footsteps and inject more entertainment-related content themselves.
For more on this topic, visit the Computerworld article.