MySpace's Second Act: 'A Window For Youth Culture'

MySpaceIs it me or does it feel as if everyone has written off MySpace as the next Friendster. With all of the media fawning over Facebook and Twitter, and the reality that MySpace has been struggling and going through changes (losing users, founders leaving, widespread layoffs), my sense is that many people in the tech/media world aren’t very optimistic about MySpace’s prospects. Granted, I haven’t logged in for months and primarily use Facebook, but I’m also 37. I’m going to play the contrarian and argue that everything I’ve read lately about how MySpace is planning to reposition itself makes me optimistic that the site could emerge stronger than ever by literally going back to its roots of being a hub for young tastemakers. Or as this MySpace insider shared with the UK Telegraph:

Moving forward, the network will focus on being a window for youth culture to reflect all their creative talents. Facebook has won the social networking war and now MySpace needs to focus on what it can bring to the table.

While I agree with danah boyd’s thesis that there has been a degree of “white flight” among youth from MySpace to Facebook, I also believe that growing youth Facebook fatigue, combined with a new and improved MySpace could bring some younger Facebook users, especially those who are creative, or who are tired of reading their parents’ status updates, back to MySpace.

While Facebook has made it clear they want to be for the masses, MySpace is sending their own “moon man” with a a new flag reasserting itself as a “window for youth culture.” They are building on their early days as a community populated largely by twentysomething musicians, artists and other creative tastemakers/self promoters in L.A., but on a much larger scale. I think MySpace has a shot at becoming the number one…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “My dream car has always been a Chevy Silverado. After I have paid off all of my debt including student loans I will save to pay cash for the truck I want. I have a 3 1/2 year plan to pay off my debt and if I then take the money I am paying towards my debts and keep saving I should be able to buy my truck 1 year after that.” –Female, 22, OR

The mall doesn’t hold the same place in American culture it did twenty years ago, but it may still play a role in teen shopping tastes. A Teen Vogue survey reports that teen girls still like shopping in malls, with 65% of 16-26-year-old females saying they will do the majority of their holiday shopping in store. The top reasons they preferred mall shopping to online were seeing products in person, hanging out with friends, and bonding with their moms. (Awww.) 61% say they create their own wishlists by walking through the mall as well. (Chain Store Age)

Start hoarding bourbon. In 2015, the smooth spirit will be more expensive, thanks in large part to its popularity with Millennial consumers. Domestic bourbon sales have increased 36% in five years, and some distilleries are rationing their bottles for the first time since Prohibition. How’s that for the power of the craft cocktail trend? Bacon, that perennially trendy meat, will also continue rise in price. (Deal News)

McDonald’s sales continue to fall, and their problems attracting young consumers have been well documented this year. The number of 19-21-year-olds visiting the chain every month has dropped by 13% since 2011. “Desperate to change its image,” the brand’s latest turnaround plan (is this plan E?) includes self-service kiosks, a trimmed down menu, and a search for a “big idea” that will appeal to young consumers’ interest in social good. (Business Insider)

What did Millennials read online this year? A lot of BuzzFeed. Digiday’s look at 2014 in Millennial media consumption found that 39 million 18-34-year-olds visited BuzzFeed at least once, but traditional publications online are also attracting these younger readers. Over 20 million visited The New York Times, and almost 8 million visited The Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, some “self-proclaimed” Millennial sites like Ozy and Vocativ reportedly “actually attract an older crowd.” (Digiday)

A generation delaying getting married and having children is creating interesting cultural shifts, and some hilariously awkward family moments. When one twenty-something found herself as the only single sibling and was deemed too old to be on her parent’s holiday card, she began to make her own tongue-in-cheek cards “celebrating” her solo, childless status. These hilarious missives, featuring booze and uncomfortable scenes, have gone viral, and she has become a holiday hero of the unmarried. (Mashable)

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