He brought sexy back, but can he bring MySpace back? It looks like Justin Timberlake's role as Sean Parker in The Social Network has gone to his head because the recovering boy bander just bought the all-but-defunct MySpace. For $35 million. And to be completely honest, I can't figure out if that's a steal or a rip-off.
JT, along with digital advertising agency Specific Media, decided to take the dying already dead social networking site off the hands of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. The big question(s) is: What will he do with it? And will it work?
Before we delve into such deep, philosophical queries, though, let's all take a moment to acknowledge the obvious competitor of which Timberlake et. al. are up against: Facebook. And, actually now, Google, too. In short, Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook cannot be beat. We can all try to come up with clever ways to lure users away from that little blue and white site, but it's just not happening. Not only because Facebook is smarter than everybody else, but because people are too invested in it now. It will take an act of God (and lots of friends) to get users to switch to something else.
That said, though, Timberlake's plans for the new and improved MySpace aren't half bad. They plan on making the focus of the site music. It's supposedly going to become a place where "fans can interact with their favorite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff, and just connect." That is a good idea. But save for all the whore-ish photos, isn't that what MySpace already was? As someone who never did MySpace, I can attest that the only reason I ever strolled on over to the site was to listen to some obscure band who hadn't yet made it to iTunes.
The fact that Timberlake is on board could be a game changer, though. He is, after all, a huge musician (even if he doesn't make music anymore). If he could offer something to fans exclusively on MySpace -- and recruit his musically talented friends -- maybe he could breathe new life into the site.
Either way, it's an odd move for the singer. Aside from playing the former Napster founder, Timberlake really has nothing to do with social networking. He barely even tweets. I just hope this doesn't cause a rash of other celebrities to have their life imitate their art. 'Cause nobody needs Christian Bale riding around in a Batmobile.
What do you think of Justin Timberlake buying MySpace?
Image via Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr