MySpace goes postal, kind of

MySpace redesign (MySpace)MySpace went live with a new redesign Wednesday, the first major relaunch since the social networking site was founded five years ago. The goal, according to a MySpace rep, is to attract a wider audience through features that make the site more aesthetically appealing, and easier to use. Read: Bring in the old folks, not just the 13-25 crowd.

For the launch day, MySpace organized a nifty promotion of the new Batman film, “The Dark Knight” on the homepage. This, says MySpace, is an example of the “larger creative palette” now available to advertisers to showcase their brand. Expect to see more brand-takeovers of the MySpace homepage in the coming months.

Users may also find it easier to enhance their MySpace page with the new features being rolled out. One of the major criticisms of MySpace has been it’s bare-bones aesthetic, and the complexities of the editing tool for those unfamiliar with HTML. Now, a sidebar will let users easily change their theme and color palette without ever saying the word “code”—an important step towards attracting a wider demographic to the social network.

Another upgrade worth noting is to the MySpace TV player. The embeddable player now supports Flash 9 and HD video, and has a new menu system that includes “top videos on MySpace” and “more videos from this user” features. If the enhanced player succeeds in increasing social engagement, it could be a good space for advertisers to look to: pre and post-roll ads, companion banners and tickers will provide lots of marketing opportunities to a captive audience.

Next up, look to MySpace rival Facebook for their anticipated redesign of profile pages. While MySpace has gotten mostly good press on their roll-out, Facebook’s effort is being met with some grumbling from advertisers.