Ten years after its launch and five years after it began to decline, Myspace is back. The last four months have seen unexpected growth at the once-forgotten social media site, bringing it back up to 36 million users and raising the question: is it time to start advertising there?
Previously slowed down by its heavy use of advertising, Myspace now has a sleeker frame that appeals to more users. It has also resolved some its spam problems, though this may prove temporary if it continues to grow.
Advertisers abandoned it en masse around 2009 after it was overtaken by Facebook and developed serious reputational problems, but now they are beginning to return.
Supporting this return are two new audiences. The first is made up of creative artists, who are increasingly developing a niche presence on the site. This means it is now particularly useful for businesses working in related sectors. The second audience is made up of young people who are predominantly under the age of 35 – not the teenagers the site first attracted, who have mostly left, but a new generation engaging with it as a cultural portal and social space. Some of these young people may, ironically, be refugees from Facebook, which has been losing users in the same demographic or finding them significantly less active.
Myspace has rebuilt itself primarily as a music portal, drawing communities together around this common point of interest. In doing so, it has created an excellent space for branded advertising that has yet to be fully explored. A Myspace homepage is easy to set up, has a simple layout that is easy on the eye while prioritizing key information, and now provides room for large pictures that make it easy to display advertising content. It also encourages users to create playlists; if carefully constructed – and not just based on personal taste – these playlists can help to build a connection with other users and encourage them to identify with the business.
For businesses with a target audience of young people or those keen to expand into new areas, Myspace could now be a very good bet. As with any form of social media marketing, it needs maintenance and should not be taken on lightly; however, it is liable to reach a distinct set of users who may not be as active on other sites.