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MySpace and Its Entertainment-Centric Redesign

There's no question that MySpace lost the social networking race to Facebook—it has 130 million users to Facebook's 550 million and MySpace has suffered a dramatic decline in ad revenue.

So now News Corp is sending MySpace in an entirely different direction—instead of competing, it's positioning itself as a complementary "social entertainment" service. MySpace is dumping the "friending" button and introducing "fan" and "follow" features. MySpace isn't trying to reclaim its moment atop the social networking heap, it's hoping it can carve out a new niche.

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For years MySpace's strength has been music—it's a destination for bands to post their information and for fans to find music and concert information.

Now it's expanding that model beyond music, to movies, online video, video games, and even celebrities.

Fans can follow bands, celebrities, movie news or even celebrities.

The site layers in live news feeds, both from Twitter and sites like Billboard.com. And the idea is that users will connect with other fans to discover new content.

Here's the paradigm shift: instead of connecting with people you know, you're connecting with strangers about content you both like.

The social network has been through a roller coaster of corporate strategy changes and a revolving door of management.

What makes this time different?

CEO Mike Jones says they've never made such a dramatic change in strategy and overhaul of the site.

He also says that aligning around professional content instead of user generated content will be more appealing to advertisers, which should drive revenue growth.

Will it work? Time will tell.

The change is sure to alienate some of MySpace's older users who aren't using the site to follow their favorite bands.

The company's hoping its worth giving that up to become a real destination for all things entertainment. The question is whether News Corp is now looking to sell the re-vamped site. Jones says it makes sense to be owned by News Corp and wouldn't comment beyond that.

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