Long irrelevant Myspace surprises with redesign

September 26, 2012  |  Michael Learmonth, Rupal Parekh for Advertising Age  |  Comments

You might not believe this, but it needs to be said: the Myspace redesign, backed by Justin Timberlake and a major ad network, looks good. Really good.

As others have pointed out, it’s borrowing a lot from Pinterest and Windows 8, but mostly it just looks fresh, original and interesting, despite the gratuitous profile pics of Timberlake.

The design and function is attempting to appeal to the last known segment that still pines for the Myspace of old: the music industry. The company’s label deals are still in place, and it scored a coup yesterday when a judge ruled that Apple couldn’t trademark its music icon because it could confuse consumers with the one for Myspace.

To achieve its slick new look, Myspace tapped a fairly under-the-radar (in the U.S. anyway) outfit called JosephMark that’s based in Brisbane, Australia. The shop, which describes itself as a brand and digital-development agency, was founded in 2004 and has since also opened an outpost office in New York.

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Its co-founder, Ben Johnston, has quite the entrepreneurial streak and has also founded a slew of other companies, including creative shop Gilimbaa, digital-innovation shop Native Digital, and motion-design studio Breeder.

For all the mocking Myspace has gotten over the past few years, it seems tech pundits are now in awe of the platform’s redo.

Wrote Wired‘s Ian Steadman: “Once-dominant now-withered social network MySpace has returned with new owners and a new design — and, in all honesty, it looks pretty cool.”

VentureBeat’s Sean Ludwig concurred, calling it “absolutely stunning.”

Bloomberg Businessweek tech columnist Ben Kunz tweeted: “If you haven’t seen the new Myspace redesign, you’re missing something. It makes FB look like MS-DOS.”

Then there’s @beavisandbutthead: #IGotDrunkAnd Signed onto Myspace for the first time in 4 years.

If Specific Media can bring Myspace back from the dead, it would be a first. That said, other troubled web giants (er, Yahoo) should have a look at what they’ve done here. What do you think? Awesome but irrelevant? Too little, too late?

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