MySpace is still alive, which may not be surprising, but the fact that it’s alive and kicking is a bit of a shock: It’s due to give a sleek revamp to its hideous profile pages, and has bought Threadbox to rejig its social messaging skills.
The news about a revamp to MySpace’s profile pages first came via a tweet from a MySpace executive, but then MySpace confirmed it via a short statement: “We’re testing a new look and feel of our site among users” it noted, adding that clients seemed to like the changes thus far. “As always, we’re interested in hearing feedback from our community as we roll out enhancements to the user experience and look forward to sharing more details with you in the coming weeks” is a much more exciting phrase to read, though, as it points to a more thorough revamp en route.
The new changes seem to simplify and de-clutter the typical MySpace home page style, add in a Flickr gallery connection and some social networking functionality. It’s all extremely welcome to those Netizens who find MySpace’s current pages to be a visual disaster fit to terrify one’s optic nerve into shutting off (I’m among this list) and it both adds a professional sheen, and brings MySpace more into line with Facebook’s and Twitter’s fairly strict control over how your data appears on their social networking systems.
But MySpace’s executive team are trying yet more tricks to inject life into its ailing service–there’s news that MySpace has just acquired Threadbox. This was a novel Net “conversation” aggregator, that tries to pull together email, IM systems, and other software like calendars into a more cohesive whole so that everything gets displayed as an easy-to-follow threaded discussion. Its technology is now going to be wound into MySpace, so we can imagine that MySpace’s somewhat one-dimensional status update/news feed-like powers will be getting a serious redesign that brings them up to Facebook rivaling levels sometime soon.
The question isn’t really “Will these tricks save MySpace?” It’s closer to “Are these tricks a brilliant last-minute save-from-the jaws of death maneuver to bring MySpace back to glory … or merely a last desperate clutching-at-straws effort before it succumbs to death?” We can’t tell, but MySpace is at least struggling and shouting that it’s not dead yet.
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