MySpace goes to Hollywood, starts with Junos

Celebrity stalkers or citizen journalists? MySpace Canada asks amateur photogs to send their celeb-sighting shots to its new site, the Hollywood Minute.

MySpace Canada is launching a new celebrity gossip portal this Friday that allows users to upload photo or video evidence of their celeb sightings. The latest addition to the social network coincides with the 2009 Juno Awards, where artists will be asked to text and video blog their behind-the-scenes experience from suites at the Artist Sanctuary, a VIP lounge in Vancouver’s Loden Hotel.

The Hollywood Minute premiere will be promoted this weekend by banner advertising, a MySpace homepage takeover and street teams in Vancouver handing out print material to encourage citizens to get snapping. For the Junos event, sponsors can either purchase pre-roll or banner ads, brand the video player or tie in through an on-location presence.

‘[Hollywood Minute] allows us to leverage the social aspect of MySpace and to bring people together who are celebrity junkies,’ says Dave Stevens, general manager MySpace Canada, which has about five million users. ‘It’ll be an ongoing project where people will be able to snap pictures – whether it be in Toronto, Halifax or Vancouver, and tag us in the photos through our tagging mechanism. If it’s a photo we think is great, we’re going to syndicate it,’ he tells MiC.

Because of the expected mass of submissions, the photos will be separated into groups, for instance a fashion section and a ‘hot shot of the week’ section, which Stevens thinks might be ideal for a camera brand.

The site will also highlight the Myspace blogs of the Lindsay Lohans and Paris Hiltons of the world (where they have been known to dish personal info in the past) allowing fans to ‘get really up close and personal with them,’ says Stevens. Hollywood Minute will send e-alerts about upcoming events, where and when celebrities might be spotted. ‘It’s all about citizen journalism,’ Stevens says.