It wasn’t that long ago everyone was talking about Myspace. You might say it was the AOL of GenY – one of the front runners in the social media landscape – but that was then.

Since then, they’ve been bought by Rupert Murdoch, continued to decline as one billion people turned to Facebook and other social platforms and here they are again trying to regain traction. This time they’re launching a remix with the backstreet endorsement of Justin Timberlake.

Unfortunately, the new upgrade is a big FAIL on both social and mobile platforms, looking more like a version of Hulu for music and I’m left completely befuddled at what they were thinking.

After all, we’re already consumed by Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Spotify, Pandora, Instagram and a legion of attention magnets. They evidently presumed the new upgrade would become a music discovery platform. Unfortunately, they’re playing catchup and this new iteration may be a last gasp.

It’s been a couple of years since I lasted signed in to the platform. Like most, I got overwhelmed with the epileptic DIY graphic design practiced by its members and conformed to the elegance of the Facebook egosystem.

Last week, a muted hullabaloo about the new platform featuring Timberlake touting the new interface caught my attention, so I decided to give it an honest an detailed exploration.

The "new' Myspace

The Good
The interface is chic. It’s a tablet ready platform with large tiles, photos and a gesture based slider that is certainly a darling for any interface designer. It performs well and it was nice to see someone rethink the experience.

The developers have included a nice intro video to reorient users to the site which features a left nav menu hovered above the content and a transport carrier for activating music, videos and a search tool.

For musicians, the new Myspace offers a clean and well organized process to upload music. You can make albums, upload individual songs and they also present a reporting tool for watching your music as others discover the files.

Screen Shot 2013-01-22 at 10.27.35 PMAs you discover new music, each photograph has a simple connection icon that allows you to follow or “like” the band. Find something you like, click the link and you’ve added the artist to your stream.

One of my favorite features is the video features which opens a full screen experience and offers less distractions on screen than YouTube or Vimeo.

All of this eye-candy has a Pinterest like feel to it and probably is well-suited for the tablet user as opposed to the desktop environment.

The Bad
Myspace MenuUnfortunately, the content, the social play and the mobile interface leave a lot on the table – not to mention the fact several features simply don’t perform as one might imagine from a brand that used to be a common household (at least among digital netizens) word.

One of the first things you’ll notice (if you were a Myspace veteran) is that somebody moved the cheese.

I noticed my old avatar is still in place and there are still several old media files from prior bands and radio recordings, but other than that, the room has been cleaned like an intervention.

The Ugly
Admittedly, Myspace is not trying to be a new Facebook and perhaps they do have a decent platform for discovering music.

However, the biggest oversite is their departure from the social glue that built the platform in the first place.

When I tried to discover people near my hometown – crickets.

In fact, when I looked at people near Kingsport, Tennessee, Taylor Swift and several national artists polluted the immediate localization of the experience.

Posting updates, funny cat photos (as if we need that) and the like are not built into the platform. In fact, all you can do is post an update, add music and videos if you’re an artist.

Another confusing error is in the ability to upload performance dates. If you are a performer, I found it almost impossible to add an event or search local performances. Venues are left out in the cold too, so I’m not sure what they were thinking.

Adding insult to injury, the mobile app is confusing and although I could successfully login to the desktop interface, the mobile app would not let me access my data – regardless of the repeated checks between my smartphone.

Collectively, I’m underwhelmed with the new Myspace platform. I came away with a sense the developers should be appauded for creating a cool interface, but they left out the social magic that is necessary to scale an audience.

Perhaps they’ll keep improving the features and who knows maybe this will catch on. Unfortunately for my own purposes, I’ll stick with Facebook, Twitter and my new darling Tumblr.

Myspace, you might as well recognize this horse is out of gas and still lumbering as a relic of the Dot.Com era. Maybe next time…

What do you think?