According to reports, MySpace fizzled for various reasons, including competition, since the platform peaked at the same time as other platforms surfaced. The website debuted in August 2003 and became the world’s leading social media platform. Its fame, however, would be short-lived, as other social media platforms like Facebook quickly overtook it.
It took a few great minds to come together and start MySpace, which started as an idea under eUniverse. Similar programs had been launched before MySpace, but none had taken it quite to MySpace’s vision!
I remember my very first account and the excitement I felt at meeting people worldwide! However, despite skyrocketing to fame as the most popular, globally recognized social media platform, it would die in the most devastating way a decade later. Its fall from popularity would be almost as great as the success that catapulted it there!
MySpace peaked around 2008, but then it vanished from the face of the earth, leaving many to wonder what went wrong. Why did this global sensation fail so dismally? Read on to learn about the rise and fall of MySpace.
What Was MySpace?
MySpace was a social networking site that allowed users to create profiles, send messages, and post pictures. You could also connect with other users and see who viewed your profile or sent you a message.
The platform allowed users to network and connect over pop culture, different types of technology, and music and share interests over many other topics. MySpace’s popularity grew rapidly in its first few years, even serving as a springboard for other popular platforms like YouTube.
Unlike Facebook, MySpace users frequently use fictitious nicknames rather than real names. Members could connect with friends, follow official accounts (mostly those of musicians), write blog posts, and participate in various forums.
Apart from socializing, the platform also emphasized the promotion of musicians. It even had a dedicated section just for music, called MySpace Music, where users could listen to and share songs. Users could personalize their profiles with simple HTML and CSS commands, which was one of the main reasons why MySpace was so popular.
Overall, this was an exciting time, and though My Space is only a shell of what it used to be, it was the pioneer for many social networks today!
Peak Era And Acquisition
Thanks to social networks like MySpace, the late 2000s earned their place in history as the golden age of social media. While other networks like Friendster had been developed before MySpace and experienced relative success, none had reached the milestones that this powerhouse would.
At its peak, MySpace would garner millions of subscribers of all ages, from budding teens to college students.
The early setup was almost a learning tool, exposing people to different music and coding! It was interactive and possibly one of the most customizable websites, allowing users to make their profiles as unique as possible!
Compared to platforms like Facebook, which offered the same default template for users, this customizability would be one of the greatest aspects that set MySpace apart and made it better! In general, they created an intimate community where you could engage with friends you’d made on the platform.
Allowed People to Express Themselves Freely
Unlike Facebook, which was more formal and required users to enter their real names, MySpace allowed people to register under their nicknames or cool funky aliases. This was exciting for most, allowing them to create various characters and identities they could share with the world!
A fun tool for this that allowed free expression was the blogging feature that allowed users to share their thoughts. This would be a trailblazing move, particularly for members of the LGBTQ+ community, who shared that they felt freer to share who they truly were online.
Because of this level of anonymity, the platform would attract more people, allowing people to connect authentically without worrying about public perception.
You wouldn’t be wrong to say that MySpace was one of the pioneers of being culturally “woke.” The platform allowed users to share music and indulge in new sounds while helping musicians grow their fan bases and connect with the public. Bands also often interacted with fans, and undiscovered artists could share their demos to get discovered!
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Early Signs of Doom
Unfortunately, as one of the very first global social networks, MySpace had a lot of obstacles stacked against it. Experts identify some of these issues as being linked to data breaches, similar to what modern-day networking giants like Facebook face.
Cyberbullying and Online Safety Concerns
Apart from that, some people took advantage of the anonymity offered by the platform and started cyberbullying, threatening child safety. This was especially important since most users were teenagers, young adults, and underage users.
Rise of Facebook
Others argue that the timing of Facebook’s fame also contributed to the fall of MySpace. At first, the two seemed to have well-defined lanes; with Facebook catering to mainly college students, these lines would quickly blur, and the two sites started to compete for users. In 2008, things changed as Facebook continued to expand beyond its initial “target” demographic.
While at one point, Myspace’s traffic was even higher than Google’s, it’s unfortunate that they could not maintain their position as the leading social media platform for too long. Their attempt to reclaim their position after being overtaken by Facebook lost them up to ten million users in less than a month in 2011.
Eventually, it was resold to Specific Media Group along with Justin Timberlake, under whom it would largely switch to becoming a music promotion site.
Why Did MySpace Fail?
You may be wondering why Myspace failed. The answer is complicated, as several micro mistakes led to its ultimate demise.
MySpace was a great social network, but it didn’t have the user experience to keep people coming back. One of the main reasons experts suggest could have contributed to its demise is limiting their target audience only to cater to “music lovers.”
It’s assumed that it might have seen more success if they had targeted more overall. This was particularly detrimental when its competition, Facebook, was rising, offering a more “older site” to interact on.
Deletion of Content
On top of that, years after they’d fallen off, the platform lost lots of content accumulated between 2003 and 2015, which was deleted. This left the few loyal supporters even more devastated, with most finally accepting their losses and departing from the site, never to return.
Website Design Change
Another blunder they made was enforcing too many changes at once. To overtake Facebook, they changed the site’s look and feel by introducing a 360 in their design. As they’d later learn, this would cost them a lot since most users hate drastic changes.
People like what they’re used to, and when too many things change at once, they’re likely to abandon ship entirely. And this is what happened with MySpace.
Another factor was the issue of security. While several other social networks also struggle with this issue, an alarming number of sex offenders were found on the platform, hiding behind “anonymous identities.
With many parents filing lawsuits and taking their kids off the internet, MySpace would never be the same again. Their image was tarnished, and many people moved on to the next best thing then – Facebook.
Experts also weigh in that another mistake that cost them was due to an administrative blunder, where they declined to buy Facebook at its grassroots when they had the chance!
With so many other “cool” sites popping up, MySpace failed to regain the traction it once had and eventually succumbed to the weight of its poor management. Even their attempt at rebranding would backfire, losing the interest of many users.
What Later Happened To Myspace?
Since then, the business has been passed around a few times and is owned by Specific Media. Under the new leadership and what appeared to be an attempt at rebranding, they introduced MySpace Music. However, it never regained prestige and struggled to get new, unique visitors.
What Did Facebook Do Differently?
Facebook is a social media platform that Mark Zuckerberg created. It was launched in 2004 and has become one of the world’s most popular social media sites. Facebook is also known for its “like” button, which allows users to express their emotions about content on the site (and even share it with friends).
Facebook’s main purpose is connecting people with their friends and family members—but what makes it so different from Myspace? For the most part, Facebook seems to excel at most things MySpace was failing at. Where MySpace chose to double down and cater to a specific group, Facebook kept a more open approach, creating a platform that appealed to different people.
While they focused on college students at first, they expanded to business owners and the older working crowd as time passed. This small change would open them to more visitors and subscribers than MySpace. The internet is a fast-changing space, and while, at first, niches were great and seemed to thrive, people demanded more, and Facebook adapted to offer just that.
Does MySpace Still Exist?
Once considered the king of social media, MySpace has since been relegated to the dustbin of history. However, you’d be surprised to learn that it’s still around, though its impact and presence have significantly changed. While still considered a social media platform, it now features news feeds and mainly focuses more on music sharing, also dabbling in lifestyle topics.
However, it is a good place to check out if you’re a music fan and want to discover genres that aren’t mainstream and connect with other music lovers. The number of visitors they get, not to speak of their actual subscribers, is peanuts compared to where they started. However, they could be worth checking out if you are a music lover.
What Does the Future Hold?
MySpace had the potential to be the global powerhouse for entertainers and music lovers all over. Sadly, they most likely missed their chance and will never reclaim that spot. So, while MySpace might only be a shell of what it used to be, other networks have risen since then to try and fill the gap.
SpaceHey, for example, is a platform that shares similarly exciting features that MySpace users love. So who knows, maybe in a few years, users might gain something to remind them of most people’s first taste at online social networking!
If you want to learn more about different social networks, be sure to check out my blog:
- How The Facebook Ads Library Helps Your Business Grow
- Top 8 Facebook Ads Tools That Can Help You As A Marketer
- Maximizing Your Facebook Experience With Facebook Touch: Tips And Tricks
Comment down below what else you’d like me to talk about!