Now under new management, MySpace is looking to reinvent itself and rise like a Phoenix from the ashes. The once dominant social networking site fell from nearly 70 percent of the social networking market, to only 30 percent in less than a year, and was plummeting on the verge of extinction.
One of the ways that MySpace is looking to build some relevance again is through the Microsoft Outlook social connector feature, giving it some new business credibility it has always lacked. MySpace beat its social networking rival Facebook to the punch to integrate its member information and updates into Microsoft Outlook. Facebook and Windows Live integration is still listed as "coming soon".
Its been a while since MySpace has been mentioned in the same breath as social networking leaders Facebook and Twitter. But, new co-presidents Jason Hirschhorn and Mike Jones have ambitious plans to rebrand and rebuild MySpace not only to where it once was, but beyond. Currently around 100 million members, MySpace has set a goa, with no specified timeline per se, of reaching 300 million plus.
To be honest, I have a MySpace account, or is it had? It is out there, but it has been probably more than a year since I have logged in to or cared about what was going in MySpace. The fact that the account was still out there, live but stagnant, raises a number of security concerns which I'll save for another article, but the bottom line is that I am one of the defectors that MySpace is looking to reconnect with to extend its reach even farther.
The Microsoft Outlook social connector may be a key element of rebuilding membership. Like the LinkedIn social connector, installing the MySpace social connector inserts MySpace as an option for social network integration. It also creates a separate contacts page with entries for each of your MySpace friends.
According to the FAQ page set up by MySpace, "MySpace for Outlook allows you to see your MySpace friend status and activity updates right inside Outlook, without having to log in to MySpace in a browser."
The description continues "The activity updates can be seen every time a friend's email is selected, or when you open the MySpace Contacts page and open a contact in Outlook. From the MySpace Contacts page, you can email your MySpace friends directly from Outlook. Email sent to their MySpace Mail address will show up in their MySpace Mail account on MySpace. Hyperlinks in the activity updates allow you to quickly jump to see the activities, such as posting a new picture, recording a new video, recording a new song, or making a new friend, all with a simple click."