Myspace Accused Of Ripping Off Stealth Startup Pinterest

This morning Pinterest co-founders Ben Silberman, Paul Sciarra and Yashwanth Nelapati woke up to a barrage of tweets“So @myspace has completely ripped off @pinterest. It really pisses me off when an old, tired hack tries to undermine hardworking inovators. [sic]” Myspace revealed its new redesign last night and Pinterest users quickly picked up on the similarities between the two site aesthetics, leading to an intense Twitter debate.

The offsite grid layout used by both Myspace and Pinterest is nothing new; Lazyfeed, and countless other sites have a similar design (there’s even a Tumblr theme). But the fact that former Myspace Director of Technology Dave Peck emailed Pinterest back in March asking for an advance invite is interesting, especially when you read the email.

Founder Silberman told TechCrunch, “The Myspace product team joined our site really early and so I’m sure they took inspiration from it. Our impression was that they took some information and we were touched that our users were vocal about it.”

However, Silberman who retweeted the accusations from the official Pinterest account this morning, emphasized, “I wouldn’t go as far as saying they ripped it off. They’re probably in tune with organizing friends around interests after they missed the boat on friends,” referring to how you can now use Myspace to follow Topics pages.

Pinterest is still invite only and is currently seeking funding. Despite being in stealth mode, the social cataloguing startup has 17,000 users and is about to experience its one millionth “pin.” Silberman plans on launching in a couple of months, encouraged by all the user support today, “It’s cool when you’re a small company and your users stick up for you.”

Myspace had 90 million users this September according to comScore, marking a 18% drop from last year. This recent design and concept overhaul was an attempt to win back some of the traffic lost to competitors like Facebook.

Myspace screencap via The Guardian