The New MySpace: If Justin builds it, will we come?

by Sophia Madana

The power of celebrity has always been an inexplicable trend in our society. From silent films to social media, celebrities intrigue us. Even their mundane activities seem so thrilling. Everything they eat, touch and wear is so “cool.” And they can get us to buy anything. At least, so I thought.

Recently Justin Timberlake decided to invest in with the promise to revamp it and make it bigger and better than it ever was. The plan is to re-brand it as an “online community for artists to connect with their fans.” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

We all know that when Timberlake does something big, he doesn’t go about it half-assedly. It’s probably why we haven’t heard an album from him in six years. (Sidebar: I’m really disappointed in him for that, but that’s a story for another day.)

Now, I love you just as much as the next girl (or guy), but what’s your clever strategy, JT? How are you going to get all those people flocking to MySpace, after they’d sworn it off completely?

When it comes to representing the new version of the brand, Timberlake joked in the presentation, “I know some artists.” He will be an obvious ambassador in recruiting industry friends to join the new MySpace, but says he won’t reveal who might be targeted. “For me, to reach out to the ones that I know, I think for now to be a beta tester, as well. I want them to feel a sense of comfortable anonymity to that,” he says.

Ohh, I see. More celebrities.

It’s a tried and true approach, but will it work this time? I’m not so confident.

While celebrities have gotten us to buy their shoes, clothes, home décor lines, and vitamin water, I think it takes a lot more than a couple famous people to get a vast movement toward a new social network.

Take a look at Oprah, for example. She is undeniably one of the most influential people on this planet. If she liked a designer, so did we. If she liked a book, so did we. If she trusted Dr. Oz, so did we. She could make or break people’s careers by her recommendations. When she decided to buy her own network, conveniently named “OWN,” you didn’t see the massive flock to her channel the way we all predicted.

The bottom line is that while celebrities can influence trends in fashion, charity, music, etc., I’m not sure if the power of celebrity can influence the medium in which we consume these trends. I think that’s something we as a society control. We’ll decide to adopt MySpace 2.0 if and when we are ready.

We didn’t start using Instagram because Kim Kardashian keeps sending us pictures of Mason. She was just following our trend. We started using it because we discovered that it made our everyday, boring lives look more adventurous. More thrilling. More “cool.”

Funny, seems like we’ve become our own celebrities… doesn’t it?

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