launched "Profile version 2.0" late last night and a number of the changes are quite significant. The two biggest in our minds are the ability to set different privacy controls for different parts of a user's profile and the near complete adherence to W3C HTML standards.MySpace
Additional changes include drag and drop profile customization and a short list of optional themes, including a number of sponsored themes. (Who wants to provide some free advertising for a movie they haven't seen yet?)
Fully aware that major changes often cause a major backlash, MySpace has made Profile 2.0 fully opt-in and is saving a copy of their Profile 1.0 of any users who switch, for 90 days. That's smart.
These changes are important. Granular privacy controls on MySpace can help raise the expectations of mainstream users for increasing sophistication regarding privacy in particular and control over their data in general. That means we can all hope for increased vendor support for user control over data - the excuse that mainstream users don't care may not hold up much longer.
W3C standards compliance is good news because a standards compliant web is a web where site rendering doesn't stand in the way of economies of scale for developers. If your code for displaying, rendering, searching or otherwise interacting with websites isn't going to work across all sites - that's a major disincentive for large-scale innovation. W3C compliance is nearly complete for the new MySpace profiles and that's great news.
Though MySpace doesn't get the respect that Facebook does, we still believe that from MySpace is the social networking leader in a number of important ways. Granular privacy controls, for example, Facebook? We'd like that.