MySpace rolled out a new email service in beta today, symbolizing the beleaguered social network’s first step towards redeeming its fallen status. The new service, called MySpace Mail, is gradually being rolled out over the next two weeks to the social network’s 130 million users worldwide. The release is a move in the right direction for MySpace, as it offers more enhanced capabilities than Facebook’s message system.
In MySpace Mail, you can embed photos from your profile directly into messages, track what your friends are up to in real time, and view your mail inbox, sent messages, friend requests and notifications all in one screenshot — things you can’t do on Facebook. MySpace users who already have a vanity URL (a feature Facebook just incorporated last month) have an email address reserved for them in the format: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you don’t like your vanity URL anymore, you can change both the vanity URL and email address when you set up the mail service. MySpace Mail also offers unlimited file storage, an address book that automatically saves your contacts, and the ability to search within your mail using Google Gears.
Given its large user base, MySpace claimed in a press release that its new mail service can eventually become the fourth-largest mail provider in the world and the second largest in the U.S. Yahoo is currently the largest email provider in the U.S. These are big claims for MySpace to make, though it’s questionable whether or not it will fulfill them. Its current messaging system accounts for 20 percent of its traffic on the site. The new email system can give MySpace a much-needed page view bump.