MySpace chases 'Gen Y' as audience flees to Facebook

MySpace is changing its game plan in a bid to recoup users lost to Facebook.
MySpace is changing its game plan in a bid to recoup users lost to Facebook.

WASHINGTON - Social network pioneer MySpace has unveiled a redesign targeting the "Generation Y" younger audience as it seeks to regain ground lost to Facebook.

Myspace, which Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. bought for US$580 million in 2005, said its new website and products are intended to "redefine the company as a social entertainment destination for Gen Y."

"This marks the beginning of an exciting turning point for Myspace," chief executive Mike Jones said in a statement.

"Our new strategy expands on Myspace's existing strengths - a deep understanding of social, a wealth of entertainment content and the ability to surface emerging cultural trends in real-time through our users," Jones said.

MySpace said the relaunch was aimed at "creating a rich, highly personalised experience for people to discover content and connect with other fans who share similar interests.

"The entertainment experience will span music, celebrities, movies, television and games and will be available through multiple platforms, including online, mobile devices and offline events," it said.

MySpace said it will focus on promoting "curators" - members with knowledge around entertainment and cultural topics and back them with "resources, tools and platform to expand their reach within the MySpace community."

It said the completely rebuilt website includes "product features that put content centre stage."

"From the colour palette to the way the site is organised to the improved navigation, everything has been redesigned to help people easily find relevant content," MySpace said.

"Once a user logs in to MySpace, the page will instantly populate with content based on the individual's interests, creating a unique, contextually relevant discovery experience," it said.

"This is the just the first step, and there will be many more features, programs and improvements to come," MySpace CEO Jones said.

MySpace boasts over 100 million users worldwide compared with Facebook's more than 500 million and since being eclipsed by Facebook the site has positioned itself as a platform for musicians and their fans.

MySpace said it will release a mobile version of the site later this year along with a new MySpace application for Apple's iPhone and Android devices.

MySpace said the new site begins rolling out today in beta, or test, mode and will be available to all users worldwide by the end of November.

- AFP

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