We first alerted you to the coming iteration of the new NEW Myspace last fall when the preview video was first released. At the time all you could do was watch the super cool video and leave your email address in hopes of getting an invite to Justin Timberlake’s hot media party. So far only a very select few have been given the “exclusive” privilege of checking out the New Myspace for themselves.
(There’s been no love from the New Myspace for this humble tech reporter, even though I requested an invite in September. Here is the note I received yesterday.)
Of the select few (of which I am no part), some are taking the time to share their thoughts on the New Myspace experience. Every review I could find mentioned that it is really difficult to evaluate a social site that doesn’t really have people on it, yet. Having said that there were several things that were consistently mentioned whether you read Sam Biddle for Gizmodo or Matt Miller for Forbes.
Once you get beyond that first dazzling impression, you quickly find that the site is very counter intuitive to navigate. In an effort to bring something fresh and new to the user experience, most of the common site navigation is in places that force users to go looking for it. Although the side scrolling for several of the features sets it apart from most other sites, it causes users to retrain themselves in order to use it. And most of the reviews mentioned that the features are such a mash-up that its hard to determine what you’re actually supposed to be doing once you’re on the New Myspace.
Sam Biddle said:
There’s too much to do on the New MySpace It’s a chintzy web carnival. Spotify-style music streaming, YouTube-style video streaming, pseudo-tweets, a Faux Facebook News Feed, all swirled together. But unlike the services it copies and attempts to blend, there’s no clear way to use New MySpace. It goes in too many directions at once. When you sit down in front of it for the first time, you’re lost.
Matt Miller had this to say on scrolling sideways:
In theory, scrolling sideways seems like a fresh, almost unique idea. Then after a few seconds of browsing you realize how unnatural it feels. And after spending time on the New Myspace then switching to a normal website, you feel like you have lost control of all motor skills. Really, it wouldn’t be as big of a pain if the scrolling wasn’t so jerky. The same feeling happens when you move your mouse to the top left of the screen (to go back to the homepage) only to realize that the site banner is at the bottom of the page. But why? The only answer is: this is the New Myspace. This sideways scrolling pretty much sums up the New Myspace perfectly: Yes, this is something that is possible to do on a social media site, but is it necessary?
But not all of the reviews were this snarky. There are some positives as well.
Sebastian Salek had this to say:
Where the new Myspace really shines is the Discover page. Click it and you’re met with articles about the latest music and film, furthering the site’s magazine feel. You can also navigate the site’s content, conveniently sorted by people, music, videos, radio, and mixes (my personal favourite being the rather pleasingly named ‘Hoop Beats – Music for Hoola Hooping’, currently at number 13). All of this makes finding new music and keeping on top of trends straightforward.
Matt Sabs also liked what he saw:
As far as design goes, the website is by far one of the best I have seen. The font is similar to that of Android’s Roboto, making it easy to read and aesthetically pleasing. As for the website itself, logging in with Facebook should say it all. Myspace is not here to reclaim its spot in social networking.
The fact of the matter is, if you appreciate a good design and love music, the new Myspace could be for you. Somehow, the site manages to spit out free music of virtually every big artist. In essence, the main feature of the new Myspace is that it has virtually become a free Spotify.
If you are an entertainment junkie or a celebrity stalker, the New Myspace might be for you. Of course we won’t know for sure until somebody removes the velvet ropes and lets the rest of us in.