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Myspace changes look and features with Gen Y Latinos in mind

LatinaLista — When it comes to today’s social platforms, the ones that get the most attention are: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. The one site noticeably missing is MySpace.

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There was a time when MySpace could more than hold its own with Facebook (FB) but when FB started letting people beyond college students set up pages, MySpace became a distant memory.

In fact, a 2010 study found:

MySpace and Facebook virtually flipped positions over the course of a year — in December 2009, visits to Facebook accounted for 68% of visits to a custom category of 10 social networks, compared to MySpace’s 28%. In December 2008, Facebook had 29% of visits and MySpace had 64%.

Yet, throughout MySpace’s spiral, Latino users have remained steadfast in their loyalty to the platform, though in smaller numbers than before. A 2007 study found that while MySpace was losing most of its members to FB, there was still a group that clung to the platform:

MySpace is still home for Latino/Hispanic teens, immigrant teens, “burnouts,” “alternative kids,” “art fags,” punks, emos, goths, gangstas, queer kids, and other kids who didn’t play into the dominant high school popularity paradigm.

It now seems that MySpace wants to go beyond their core group of loyalists and music majors who have sustained the platform these last few years. Today, MySpace has become Myspace, a site not focused on social networking but social entertainment.

The new Myspace (currently in beta but due to roll out at the end of November) features 20,000 entertainment-focused pages organized around topics; entertainment “hub” destinations specifically dedicated to movies, television, and celebrities; real-time trending content on Myspace to help fans find recently added music and videos, and lets them listen or watch right from an interactive chart; and the ability to toggle among three different ways to view the homepage — List view (traditional format); Grid view (magazine-like format) or Play view (video format).

It’s an approach that Myspace feels appeals to the Gen Y generation. And there’s one particular segment of Gen Y users they really want — Latinos.

According to the Myspace press release, Latinos, ages 16-25, comprise 18 percent of the Gen Y population, but make up 20 percent of Myspace users. Myspace recognizes that Latino Gen Yers love their entertainment, games — and technology.

Myspace also recognizes that Latinos are the fastest growing market segment as well.

Time will tell if Myspace can carve itself a new niche in social media — and keep Latino users with them.

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