The current status of Myspace is this: The pioneering social media once-giant just might get the last laugh when all is said and done.
You're laughing, aren't you?
Admit it -- you were one of the countless people ready to witness Myspace die a slow death. After hitting its peak in 2008 with more than 75.9 million unique visitors a month, Myspace experienced a rather fast descent into the back of the minds of most -- thanks to a new kid on the block by the name of Facebook. Just a little more than a year ago, Myspace found itself in the middle of a complete free-fall and was poised to find itself forced completely off the social media map.
But just as it was about to hit the devastatingly hard concrete of social media obscurity, it started to breathe again. Young investors Tim and Chris Vanderhook decided it was time to give Myspace a second chance. Buying the fledgling site for a mere $35 million, the two savvy entrepreneurs quickly partnered with entertainment mogul Justin Timberlake -- and people started to listen. And as with everything else he touches, Timberlake started to make MySpace sound good.
"There's a need for a place where fans can go to interact with their favorite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff, and just connect," Timberlake said at a news conference. "Myspace has the potential to be that place. Art is inspired by people and vice versa, so there's a natural social component to entertainment. I'm excited to help revitalize Myspace by using its social media platform to bring artists and fans together in one community."
Earlier this year, the Myspace team proudly announced that it had signed up 1 million new users in the span of a month. Monthly traffic was rising -- and it still is. "For the past few years, it's always been 'My-who?' when anyone mentions the former social networking giant," says Steve Knapp, director of brand activation at Carmichael Lynch. As an advertising executive, Knapp has pioneered programs in social media for companies such as Nike, General Mills, and Northwestern Mutual.
"Marketers tend to forget over 29 million people visited Myspace last month," Knapp says. "That's more than Pinterest, Tumblr, or Spotify. What's more, most people already know the brand. Myspace was likely was the first social experience where you connected with friends, discovered new bands, or maybe even 'friended' brands. Now armed with a massive catalog of free music, people and marketers alike need to understand the reasons to come back. I'm not sure what it is yet, but there is scale and focus. Maybe if Justin Timberlake starts making sales calls, more brands will take notice."
So while the general public continues to laugh and make snide comments about MySpace, more and more media and advertising executives are beginning to take notice. Now more than ever before, there seems to be rather strong evidence that it's time to get serious about Myspace yet again -- and here's why.