Justin Timberlake unveils new MySpace

Pop star teases first look at the music-centred relaunch of struggling social network

Justin Timberlake has unveiled a first look at the new MySpace,

The singer bought the ailing social networking site last year (June 29) and is set to relaunch it as an artist-centric service with co-owners and media tycoons Chris and Tim Vanderhook.

MySpace was crucial in breaking the careers of artists including Arctic Monkeys and Lily Allen, but it soon found its worth falling as competitors such as Facebook and Twitter tool hold, and streaming services such as SoundCloud and Bandcamp took prominence. At its peak MySpace was valued at $580 million (£366 million), but Timberlake bought the company from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation last year for $35 million (£22 million).

As Rolling Stone reports, Timberlake told a group of reporters: “We never looked at this as some sort of rebranding or reinvention. This was for us a completely new platform. The name was acquired but I think that was a good thing for us. The important thing up until this point.. was to really give it an identity.”

The newly-designed MySpace is said to have simplicity at its core, but will still retain some of the site’s original features, including the top eight friends and a profile song to stream. Instead of separate sections for music, photos and videos, there is now one section called mixtapes that places playlists and images side by side.

The site currently has over 5 million unsigned artists, who Timberlake and co. say will benefit from in-depth analytics that will reveal conformation about who is listening to their music. Users will also be able to check out new bands via playlists and “similar artist” links.

The test site is currently invite-only at present, allowing developers to iron out any teething problems before new users can join.