The service, dubbed MySpace Plus, will be offered to the site's nearly 100 million unique users at an introductory cost of $9.95 a month. Subscribers to the service will enjoy faster page loading, access to unique content, and ad-free surfing for as long as they continue to pay the additional fee. In addition, membership in MySpace Plus guarantees that the user's page will not be randomly deleted from the site, as many pages have over the past few weeks for reasons unknown to the general public.
Another advantage subscribers will enjoy is that they will be provided with the real names, addresses, and phone numbers of all of the "friends" displayed on their homepage. Founder Tom Anderson admits there are some privacy concerns, but also feels that this is the right time for MySpace users to move from the world of virtual friends to the world of living, breathing human ones.
"Sure, it is great to have a lot of friends listed on your homepage, but how many of them do you actually get to meet and hang out with" asked Anderson. "This way, if you are looking for something to do on a Saturday night, you can just ring up one of your many MySpace Plus pals, or better yet stop by their house and see what they are up to for the evening."
Initial response to this change has been mostly favorable, though MySpace staffers notice that the ages listed in profiles have sharply trended upwards since the new service was announced. Also, many profile photos have recently been removed as well from the site, as members are assumed to be in the process of replacing them with ones actually taken at some point within the last decade.