The need that MySpace wants to serve is entertainment junkies' desire to be in the know on everything about their favorite music artists, movies, games and shows—and to be able to discuss all of that with others.
Thus, the new MySpace is designed to facilitate connections between like-minded fans—and also to social media leaders, a group MySpace refers to as "curators." Curators can be serious bloggers, or "that friend who always hears about the new band first," said Jones.
Beyond socializing, MySpace is also looking to serve as something of a Huffington Post/Twitter for entertainment lovers. Via topic pages, MySpace users can opt to "follow" a show like Fox's Glee, and view headlines from sites across the Web, like TMZ and various Glee blogs.
"Self expression is still here," said Jones. One way that users will be able to express themselves on the new MySpace is by earning badges, a Foursquare-esque gaming element aimed at encouraging users to become more active by creating playlists and uploading content.
Whether users take to the revamped site and bring others back to the MySpace fold is the big question. Jones declined to make any predictions, saying only that MySpace's audience had "stabilized," though "traffic patterns may change." According to comScore, MySpace still reached 95 million unique users globally in August. Yet per Quantcast, MySpace's U.S. audience has steadily declined in 2010, landing at 43 million users last month.
For his part, Jones emphasized the new MySpace's engagement metrics, which in testing showed marked improvement. That is likely what the site will champion to advertisers going forward.
The new MySpace will feature several new ad placements aimed at attracting traditional brands. But the bigger change is that the site will deliberately carry far fewer ads. "A lot of ad units are gone," said Jones. "There has been a definite reduction in performance inventory."