October has been filled with several different logo changes, some that may have been denounced by the public and now another major change is set to emerge, specifically in the social networking world. The website undertaking this daring rebranding effort? MySpace.
Yes. MySpace. Remember them? In the 90s and early 2000, MySpace was the place to be for all your social networking. Unfortunately soon after, Facebook came in and took over the entire industry and has since held the reigns as the main social network over MySpace (at least in the United States). Over the past few years, MySpace itself has been struggling and at Dave McClure’s Warm Gun conference, Mike Macadaan, MySpace’s VP of User Experience and Design, announced that the company would soon be rebranding itself. How? By changing their logo from one that clearly has become recognized as a social network to simply two letters and a space: my____
What does my____ really mean? It means that it’s our space. I think that the logo could definitely do some work and while there has been some jokes made about MySpace and how this is just another nail in its social media coffin, this concept could be leading to something much greater…it’s talking about how we view the Internet and I think that the my____ concept will help MySpace really evolve.
Here’s what I’m thinking.
Sure, the new logo without any treatment just makes MySpace look horrible and uncaring, but the belief in that when you access myspace.com, there’s something more beyond a social network is really appealing. The social networking “war” is over. Facebook has come in with its massive artillery and bunker bombs and pounded MySpace into submission – essentially Facebook bulldozed through MySpace’s market share without even firing a shot (literally and figuratively speaking). Since MySpace is now essentially fighting an uphill battle to try and make a dent in Facebook’s market share, they might as well try something new, and this involves being a hub for lifestyle and entertaining information.
What do I mean by lifestyle and entertainment information? Think about MySpace now becoming something more of a hybrid of a social network meets Yahoo’s OMG meets MTV meets Hulu meets Zynga games. Sure, MySpace will still be a social network, but I think that the strength behind the new brand is the creation of a hub where people can talk about all the cool stuff happening in the arts, cuisine, movies, music, lifestyle, and all the things they find entertaining – in essence, it’s a hub of information to keep you updated on your leisure activities. Not only that, but you’ll be able to continue on with conversations with your friends and others interested in similar things.
This hub is now going to be your one-stop shop…it will truly be “your space” where you will have control over managing the content that you see. Granted, I doubt that MySpace will go the full distance with this rebranding, but I think that there definitely lies some possibility, especially since the reason why Macadaan was at the Warm Gun conference was to explain the design and innovation features that MySpace is set to roll out – continuing to make it more “My” space.
But let the haters hate. They do have a point.
It’s hard to really acknowledge that what MySpace is doing will help turn around the “struggling” social network. But at least they are acknowledging that what they are doing won’t be mimicking Facebook. This new concept won’t be one where they’re doing everything right after Facebook has rolled it out. In fact, they’re moving away from it. Nevertheless, there are skeptics, critics and pundits who loudly state that this new brand just won’t do anything for the platform and they might have a point. A couple of other recent high-profile brands have launched a similar campaign in the past only to show that it’s really not that successful.
One example is Yahoo – once a powerful force in the search industry, now resigned to accepting the scraps from Bing and struggling to reinvent itself to the point where it isn’t considered a laughing stock of the Internet world. In 2009, they started with a new campaign by spending $100 million to launch the “It’s Y! You” program, which was designed to show advertisers, press/media and the Internet users that Yahoo’s network is all about “you”. Remind you of a certain network trying that?
Another brand that wanted to create a personalized brand that tied everything back to their product was MTV. Once known for music videos, MTV no longer is recognized for that – in fact, the only music videos you see on their network is in the wee early mornings and then the rest of the day, it’s all reality television like Sweet 16, True Life and Jersey Shore. But now it seems that the brand no longer is representative of music, but of the other shows that they focus on and the issues that they deal with: music news, movies, awards, sex, teen pregnancy and GTL (which I believe stands for gym, tan and laundry). The point is that MTV has now become a hub very similar to what MySpace is shooting for in their new rebrand. Will they achieve better success than what MTV has? For one, I hope that MySpace recognizes that their name could be a big downfall – after all, just look at MTV and tell me what the “M” stands for if it’s not for music.
The jury is still out, but it might not be good for MySpace.
So only time will tell to see what content MySpace can pull into their site over the next few months. The new profile pages that MySpace has rolled out can be really interesting and the new concept behind the brand does offer some much-needed adrenaline – hopefully that shot in the arm will reinvigorate the struggling network and bring it from the edge of oblivion like how other networks have teetered over (e.g. Friendster, Asian Avenue, etc.). The new brand obviously hasn’t taken hold yet and there may be some other surprises in store for us when they do actually begin to use the my___ logo. But will anything even save them? Let’s see what they have…all bets point to “no”, but I’m always interested in miracles.
Image credit of MTV logo: MTV.com
Image credit of Yahoo ad: Yahoo.com