Lost in MySpace

Is the upcoming MySpace redesign a loser's last gasp or a real shot at revival?

Remember MySpace? OK, OK, at 95 million monthly visitors and 12 billion page views, it’s not quite the dinosaur of the social-networking world. But with traffic plummeting, MySpace’s owner News Corp. is in a last-chance battle to keep it in the game against newer rivals.

Enter project Futura, the code-name for a dramatic redesign of the website scheduled for release in mid-October. The demographic that MySpace has excelled at courting revolves around music — indie bands and Top 40 acts alike, who maintain MySpace pages where music is easily posted. In late September, News Corp. CEO Jonathan Miller said the changes are aimed at taking MySpace back to these same musical roots.

Just how far MySpace has fallen is pretty drastic. While 12 billion page views sounds like a lot, in December 2008, the site garnered 43 billion views.

News Corp. bought MySpace in 2005 for $580 million — at the time it had more page views than Google. But now that that glory has faded, many are wondering if the imminent redesign can actually have an effect on the popularity of the site.

Until that new look is launched, there’s no way to know, but considering the company’s rocky recent past (both the CEO and president left earlier this year), it seems like MySpace has very little left to lose.