Tim and Chris Vanderhook Give MySpace a Makeover


Years ago before Facebook and Twitter, MySpace was the social platform of choice for many people. Since then, its image has taken a dive and has become more of an online joke for many as opposed to a place for them to hang out. Tim and Chris Vanderhook are looking to turn that around and give the site a comeback.

Tim and Chris are brothers who cofounded Specific Media with a third brother, Russell. Since 2011 though, the two have been running MySpace, fully aware of the task they face. One just needs to look at the figures to make that clear. In 2006, MySpace was valued at $580m, while the brothers purchased it for approximately $35m in 2011.

The Vanderhooks were clearly faced with a hefty challenge and now it seems like they may have beaten it.

A preview video of the new MySpace was recently released and immediately set tongues wagging. By all accounts it seems as though the Vanderhooks have decided to change the function of MySpace to avoid competing with the likes of Facebook and Twitter. It’s no longer a place for people to socialise online with their friends; instead it has become a “social network for the creative community to connect with their fans”.

This isn’t a surprising move at all. When the Vanderhooks bought the site it already had a long history of being associated with music acts and it comes with a streaming infrastructure, something which Tim says no other social platforms have at the moment. They believe this streaming infrastructure will help bring in artists who will, in turn, bring in their fan bases.

The New MySpace

So what do you do with one of the most recognisable jokes on the planet? You completely remodel it. MySpace has been redesigned, a job which took nearly a full year as they tore the site down to basics and began to build up again.

The brothers used the opinions of the artist community to identify what it was they really needed to bring the site up to date as a worthy competitor in the Social Media race, and then go beyond that and carve out its own niche. And that was just the coding.

A similar approach was taken with the design. They wanted it up to date and yet “stunning”. That was their starting point but they also took into account the needs of the artists they hope to attract as well as the future of technology, such as tablets, which is why the new MySpace features a horizontal scroll.

Pushing Past the Reputation

While it’s widely acknowledged that MySpace has a bad reputation amongst many from Generation X, those from Generation Y are largely untouched by these perceptions. In fact, Generation Y is at the ideal target age for MySpace now.

Even those with the negative perceptions of MySpace may be ready to give it another chance. Social Media is an ever evolving landscape and many are growing wary of Facebook, looking for the next big thing. For them, it may just be the right time to give MySpace another try.

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