$20,000,000 is the amount that the new MySpace has thrown down to get your attention. While that sounds like a lot of dough, it only works out to about $0.06 per person based on the current US population. Even in a digital world where advertising can be highly targeted, the goals for his budget may be heavy on the side of ambition. However, the budget is only a small part of the problem, here’s what I think is going to keep MySpace from making a comeback.
1) The Ad Campaign – Have you seen the ads? Please. Nothing against hipsters, but it looks as though they dragged a fishing net through the hot bar section of Whole Foods to cast the 90 second spot. I don’t think it’s even possible to cram a higher number of stereotypes into a 90 second commercial. Every cliche of hipsterdom can be found in one place. I want to save a copy of this ad so that 8 years down the road when my daughter asks me, “Daddy, what’s a hipster?” I can smile, ask her to sit down and watch the commercial.
2) What is it? – I signed up to see what all the hubbub was about and I’m frankly confused. I don’t think that my confusion comes from age. I’m only 35. I don’t think that the confusion comes from a lack of understanding of technology. I clearly understand technology. I don’t think the confusion comes from a disconnect on the creative level. I’m a creative marketer. Overall, the site seems to lack purpose and an ease of connectivity, the very basis of “social” media. There are communication tools, but without an easy way to connect with others, they are useless.
3) Social Media Networks Are Like Banks – I have been with my bank for well over a decade and I’m tied in pretty well. Unless I want a nightmare of undoing automatic payments to everyone for everything, I am going to stick with them. Facebook has me hooked in pretty much the same way. I stay connected with friends, family, co-workers and it offers me the functionality and connectivity that make a difference. Sure, some of the hip factor is gone and it doesn’t have the same underground cache it had in 2006, but it is functional and useful to stay connected to large groups of real people that I know.
4) Unintuitive – Perhaps this is because I’m used to the way things flow on Facebook, but MySpace feels alien, much like the experience of Windows 8 on a standard laptop. Different? Yes. Better? Not necessarily for me.
5) Too Square to Be Hip – Going back to some of the points I made regarding their ad campaign, the site lacks an overall inherent coolness. The design is slick, and there are some things that I enjoy. I believe they’ve put a ton of effort into making the site look new and fresh. However, it feels too polished to excite my creative side.
6) Where Does MySpace Fit in the Social Media Spectrum? – I suppose that such as in real life, there is a place for everyone in social media.. From a business perspective, I get the practical applications of the primary, popular networks. I’m having a hard time finding that with MySpace. I’m a certified Social Media Strategist, and if I have trouble seeing how to use MySpace commercially, others may see the same thing. To be fair, I’ll figure it out, it just hasn’t been obvious. Look for a future update on things you can do to make money with the new MySpace.