myspace-redesignMyspace today released a statement confirming yesterday’s reports that it plans to lay off a large percentage of its workforce — specifically, the company says its “organizational restructuring” will cut 500 employees, or 47 percent of the company.

Companies always try to paint these sorts of announcements in the best possible light, although that’s harder when News Corp-owned Myspace is essentially halving its workforce. The big message from chief executive Mike Jones is that the “tough but necessary changes” don’t reflect anything bad about the new redesign, which refocuses the company on “social entertainment” rather than trying to compete with Facebook directly. Jones said the layoffs will cut the elements of the company’s “legacy business” that weren’t working.

As evidence that the redesign is starting to catch on, Jones said that since the redesign rolled out at the end of last year, more than 3.3 million new profiles have been created as well as 134,000 topic pages. The number of mobile Myspace users increased 4 percent between November and December, he said, to 22 million.

Moving forward, it sounds like Myspace will be relying more on a partnerships with local companies in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia for its international advertising and content.