Arthur W. Page Society

MySpace: a redesign to attract GenY?

There was a story in the New York Times this week about MySpace and the embattled social network’s efforts to target Generation Y, a group they define as people 13-35 years of age. MySpace’s new plan is to streamline its service and focus on music, movies and television shows.

The pace of evolution in social networks is intense and it is interesting to speculate about what happens once a company surrenders the lead; is it possible to regain it? If everyone leaves your party, can you convince them to come back? It certainly won’t be easy.

In order to mount a serious comeback MySpace needs to be able to offer something new or address a weakness in the incumbent. Social networks are a study in modern anthropology and you have to think about how people, or (in the case of networks) crowds respond to change. The crowd left the MySpace party because they found a better party at FaceBook. There will have to be a distinct and driving reason, that’s a clear differentiator, to compel people to try MySpace again – I'm not convinced that a streamlined focus will be enough. Either that or a competing social network loses ground by under delivering on a fundamental requirement. Crowds are driven less by brand values and more by human values like trust, transparency and respect. When any of these are under threat, as we’ve seen lately, there may be cause for a rethink. The company that is able to provide a forum that empowers its communities, fulfills a distinct requirement that can’t be found elsewhere, and helps underscores basic human values will likely be the long-term winner. Until of course, there is a new party in town!

Aedhmar Hynes
Chief Executive Officer
Text 100 Public Relations

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