New Myspace made its debut back in September (when it made our own Drew Olanoff “want to hurl”) but the redesign has only been available to limited beta participants before now. Today, the next-generation version of the site is open to all, with registration possible using either your existing Myspace account, Facebook credentials or signing up as a brand new user. The launch came quietly, timed with a new Justin Timberlake single, and it’s frankly a little hard to see it as much more than a splashy ad for that song.
Or is the song an ad for the social network? It’s confusing. All I know is that there’s a big, splashy Justin Timberlake image on the new Myspace and a link to the track in iTunes, and that the single has prominence over even the join/sign-in buttons on the new Myspace homepage. Do you find out anything anything about Myspace when visiting the site for the first time? No. But you do know that Justin’s new single features Jay-Z, and to access it you should sign in to or join the social network.
To be fair, the redesign is all about putting the music front and center, since when you sign in you’ll get an audio player at the bottom of every screen for queuing up music playlists, as well as a trending discovery pane which surfaces new music stories and content to check out.
Unlike Drew, I actually enjoy the new redesign, and Timberlake using his role as one of the site’s lead investors to add some star juice to the relaunch is the right move for a site whose biggest problem is continued relevancy. But will Justin’s suit and tie be enough to dress up this old pig? I think that could be a trick that even this Hollywood/music industry golden boy can’t pull off.