For many Millennials, the first social media networking website they remember is Myspace. In the early 2000s, it seemed like everyone had a Myspace page. From 2005 and 2008, Myspace was the largest social media network, beating out the fledgling Facebook, which was at the time targeting only college students.
Now, many people can’t remember the last time they even thought about Myspace, let alone actually visited the website.
Bigger than Google
While Myspace wasn’t the first social media platform, it was the first that many people now remember. It had a huge cultural impact and was the origin of the idea of a social network. In 2006, it received more unique views than Google did.
In the early 2000s, everyone had to have a Myspace page. People the world over created pages to share their interests, music, and videos. It seemed like nothing could stop it. The owners of Myspace weren’t concerned about Facebook, which Tom Anderson, one of Myspace’s founders, described as being “more about who you know,” while Myspace “is more about meeting more people and the people you know and music and video and all these different cultural aspects.”
Myspace, at the time, wasn’t worried about the little upstart, Facebook.
The Rise of Facebook
Myspace’s initial lack of concern with Facebook’s presence turned out to be very, very wrong. By 2009, Facebook had overtaken Myspace as the most popular social media platform in the world. Myspace saw decreasing views and revenues over the subsequent years as its users’ fled to Facebook.
One of the reasons that many turned away from Myspace was its focus on monetization after is purchase in 2005 by News Corporation. Ads flooded the site, which turned off many users. Facebook, of course, is now hosting millions of ads, but it was felt by many at the time that Myspace hadn’t improved its user experience sufficiently to make up for all of the advertising.
What Happened to Myspace?
It may come as a surprise to many, but Myspace is still around. It’s still got an average of 50 million monthly views and seems to be holding steady, even though it’s no longer at the top of the social media game. That honor belongs to Facebook.
Myspace was purchased in 2012 by Justin Timberlake and Chris and Tim Vanderhook. It was then redesigned to focus on artists and fans. Myspace didn’t want to compete with Facebook in the social media arena and instead decided to switch gears and focus on music and other forms of entertainment.
Myspace today has found its own niche in sharing music. It currently has the largest database of music tracks in the world. Many musicians have got their start on Myspace and have built up fanbases there that carried into the real world. If you visit the site today, you can use your Facebook account to log in.
The Myspace of the early 2000s is long gone, but Myspace itself is still going strong. It managed to reinvent itself to keep up with its users’ interests and demands. It has managed to stay relevant in an ever-changing world by doing so.