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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The Newsfeed

“I love watching movies and shows uninterrupted.”—Female, 18, CO

Mattel just made the first hijab-wearing Barbie. She’s based on Ibtihaj Muhammad, who won the Olympic bronze medal for fencing for the U.S. while wearing a hijab. Brands are bringing diversity to the toy aisle to appease The Diversity Tipping Point generation’s appetite for inclusion, and this new doll is a step in the right direction. She gives girls a new role model and (in Muhammad’s words) encourages them "to embrace what makes them unique." Mattel has plans to create an entire line of Barbies based on inspirational women next year. (BBC)

Another ‘90s classic, Are You Afraid of the Dark, is coming to the big screen and revisiting Millennials’ childhood nightmares. Nostalgia entertainment is big business for the entertainment industry, who are hoping to capitalize on Millennials and Gen Z’s trademark wistfulness, and it doesn’t hurt that this screenplay for the remake is being written by It’s screenwriter. With horror proving it can bring in massive audiences these days, this mixture of dark content and nostalgia is a good bet to get them in theaters. (Collider)

Millennials are causing a “baby bust”—they aren’t having enough kids to keep the U.S. population at the “replacement level.” According to the Negative Population Growth Inc., the birth rate has dropped below the death rate, with women are having an average of just 1.8 births compared to the 2.1 needed to keep the population steady. The research blames all Millennials for the drop, reporting that “irth rates for all age groups of women under 30 fell to record lows in 2016.” (Washington Examiner)

Kellogg’s is coming back to NYC, with a bigger (and maybe better) cereal café than last year’s Times Square popup. The 5,000 square foot Union Square space will be a permanent place for Millennials to try crafty concoctions from Kellogg’s, who hopes getting the demo to rethink the product will keep Millennials from “killing” cereal as we know it. The company claims “It’ll be a destination for foodies and people to chill, create and explore the endless possibilities of cereal all in one place, whether it be for breakfast, lunch or a snack later in the day.” (CSA)

People are binging Netflix in public—at work, in line, and even on the toilet. A new study from Netflix found that 67% of viewers have watched a show or movie in public, 37% admit to tuning in at work, and 12% have pressed play in a public restroom. One in five have cried during a public streaming session, and 11% have seen a spoiler on another public streamer’s screen—but that’s not stopping them. The Binge Effect is real and bigger than ever: 60% of respondents said they binge more content than they did last year. (MashableMarkets Insider)

“I really enjoyed Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul does a really good job capturing the same intensity and intrigue that the original series did…”—Male, 28, NY

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