MySpace Continues to Play Catch-up but Is It Too Late?

While it used to be a bit of a media darling, it’s not often that we write about MySpace anymore, but they continue to plug along – as one of the most popular sites on the Web. And, they continue to roll out new features for their user base. For many, these features may fall into the “too little too late” category. But it’s still interesting to see which new MySpace features were a high priority to add or fix – especially for a site that seems to be rapidly losing touch with the audience that once embraced it.

ReadWriteWeb’s Sarah Perez covered the launch of the new MySpace mobile site – albeit with a “yawn” – but one would think that’s about the best thing they have going. MySpace’s take? The big news is “status & moods,” and the fact that you now have a status history. Have a hard time remembering the last time you were really pissed off? This feature is for you.

Taking a look at some of the other “new” features shows MySpace continuing to play catch-up in a race that may well already be over.

  • Sharing music tends to remain the big draw for the site, so it only makes sense that MySpace will improve that service. Now they offer a Music Playlisting feature which allows users to share playlists publicly the same way users have shared songs in the past.
  • MySpace has added more than 90 new themes under “Profile 2.0,” a feature designed to improve the layout of MySpace pages and the management of the information therein
  • In addition to trying to make MySpace look better, they’re also trying to make it easier to use. The development team has worked on “systematically changing the way features work around the site.” That means fewer steps to get things done.
  • Moving MySpace content from online to offline – by printing. You can now print practically everything on the site. Now those embarrassing photos on your co-worker’s MySpace page don’t have to remain stuck on the site – you can post them in his or her cube.
  • More than one person in the TO: line. That’s right. Being able to send mail to more than one recipient. It’s a feature.
  • Show full name. Running neck and neck with the TO: feature.

Unfortunately, for those well versed in social networking there isn’t anything new here – which doesn’t come as much of a surprise. But it is new for MySpace. And the MySpace community seems to be liking it. As of this writing, the features post was approaching 2000 “kudos” from the MySpace community.

Truth be told, the most interesting part of the announcement had nothing to do with the features. It had to do with a seemingly innocuous comment about the improved usability, “Plus you see less advertisements. Yay :-)” That’s an interesting position for a company that finds its revenue by showing those advertisements.

Are we missing something? Is there a more poignant take of these latest MySpace features? We’d love to hear your take.

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