"This is the just the first step and there will be many more features, programs and improvements to come," crowed Mike Jones, the CEO of Myspace who is overseeing the repositioning as part of the social network's turnaround strategy.
Myspace says the new design, features and focus are intended to capitalize on its core strength with "Generation Y," also known as Millennials, or the Internet-savvy generation born after the mid-1970s.
The beta version of the new site will begin rolling out today and will be available to all users worldwide by the end of November. New users will have immediate access to the beta site. A mobile version of the new site is also being developed, as are mobile apps designed for the iPhone and Android operating systems.
The tacit shift in focus from community to content is an interesting play for Myspace, which has lost the momentum in social network connectivity to a rapidly ascendant Facebook, and seems to recognize the strength of its relationship to parent and content king News Corp. It also plays off of one of Myspace's core utilities: Its ability to help young users discover content, especially new music.
The beta shows a Myspace that has been completely rebuilt in a way that puts content at center stage, but also gives users more sophisticated controls for personalizing feeds and how they look.
The redesigned welcome page showcases fresh content as it "bubbles up" across the beta site in real time. Whenever users log on the home page instantly populates with content based on the user's personal interests based on their profiles and behavior.
Registered users can also toggle between three different views of the home page, each
specifically designed to display their stream in the way that resonates most, including: List view: Traditional view
Grid view: A magazine-like format
Play view: A video format that allows users to watch, forward and resize their updates to full screen.
The new design emphasizes a wide variety of content hubs, feeds and features, many of which seem to be ideal opportunities for advertising and sponsorship adjacencies, but the Myspace team made no reference to their advertising marketplace strategy in the announcement, even though it is deemed a key, and as yet still underdeveloped opportunity to monetize the mass user base that social networks like Myspace generate.