How MySpace is getting its groove back


13 Jun 2008

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Although MySpace still trounces Facebook in market share terms – in the US it has 72pc of the market in comparison to Facebook’s 16pc – it is seen as somewhat of a social networking dinosaur with dated design and a clunky interface that can look hideous, depending on how much the user has played around with the code.

In the past six months, MySpace took a long hard look in the mirror and decided to opt for a facelift, which will be unveiled on Wednesday next.

The new user interface will let users customise their page with less knowledge of HTML, and themes can be colour-coded by choosing from a colour palette instead of the currently awkward system whereby colour code must be manually entered.

This might not seem revolutionary but it brings MySpace bang up to date with newer networking sites, while still allowing users a bit more space for expressing individuality.

Site navigation is said to be easier, while searches can drill down more specifically by choosing from options like age and gender. The nuts and bolts of MySpace is also changing with a new search engine using open source – the Java-based Apache Lucene text search engine.

MySpace’s co-founder and president Tom Anderson said the redesign was an effort to dispel the myth that social networking was for teens and young adults by providing a more user-friendly environment. However, recent statistics have shown that a large percentage of MySpace users are aged 35 and above.

Meanwhile, Facebook has let it be known it will also be doing a bit of a nip and tuck over the coming months. The average Facebook user crowds their profile page with too many applications, so this redesign promises to get rid of this and add more white space, boxing off applications and adding tabs.

By Marie Boran

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