Social networking giant MySpace is launching a global roll-out of its new e-mail client, aiming to leverage its sizable community into a Webmail hub.
The revamped MySpace e-mail offering is an effort to make the traditionally static messaging platform more social, something that market leader Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) has also been experimenting with.
For its size alone, MySpace thinks it has a shot to shake up the Webmail sector.
Though growth in its community has essentially plateaued (and been eclipsed by rival Facebook), MySpace nonetheless boasts nearly 130 million global users.
According to the most recent figures from online metrics firm comScore, Yahoo has a commanding lead on the domestic Webmail market, with 103.8 million users. Windows Live Hotmail ranked No. 2, with 47.7 million users. AOL and Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Gmail followed, with 38.1 million users and 36.6 million users, respectively.
The new e-mail client grows out of MySpace’s existing messaging system, which it boasts accounts for nearly 20 percent of its overall traffic.
The News Corp. division isn’t short on ambition with its new service. MySpace sees in its offering the potential to become the second-largest domestic e-mail provider, and the fourth worldwide.
MySpace is touting its new e-mail service as it continues a global restructuring, from which it will emerge a much leaner operation. Earlier this month, MySpace announced the first step in its global slim-down, turning over its ad operations in several foreign markets to a division of its parent company, Fox Interactive Channels. That move grew out of MySpace’s previously announced plans to make deep cuts to both its domestic and international workforce.
As one might expect from an e-mail offering from an outfit like MySpace, the new e-mail service is rolling out with some distinctly social features, including a Mail Activity Stream that serves up glimpses of the latest updates from people involved in the exchange.
Users can send as attachments music and videos, two of MySpace’s most enduring selling points as Facebook has emerged and overtaken it atop the social networking pile. Users can attach photos, either from their profile or desktop, in one click. Like Yahoo Mail, there is no storage limit to MySpace’s offering.
While users can e-mail with people outside the social network, the privacy settings enable them to only receive messages from their MySpace friends.
One of its key selling points is the use of vanity URLs, something which MySpace has offered from the outset, but Facebook only launched in June.
That means that a user with the profile URL, www.myspace.com/internetnews, would have the e-mail address, [email protected], automatically reserved.
The product contains an internal search feature powered by Google Gears.
MySpace describes the global launch as “iterative,” and expects it to be completed within the next couple weeks.