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“Anybody seen Tom…” What happened to Myspace?


Between the years of 2005 and 2008 it was the largest Social Networking site in the world and in June 2006 exceeded Google as the most visited site in the US. At that point it needed no introduction. Now it does. It’s Myspace.

In its hey-day, Myspace was the network that everybody was on. You couldn’t meet somebody without them saying “You on Myspace? Yeah? Cool. I’ll add you. On Myspace.” And, quite frankly, if your answer was anything other than yes the result was a resounding LOL. But that natural fanaticism for a Social Network that was just part of life has long since dried up.

For anybody too young to remember, Myspace was a Social Network with a strong young-adult following. Its focus on music, music videos and adaptability made it accessible and cool, hence the demographic.

What happened?

Myspace’s ill-fated story of decline was ultimately down to Social Networking innovations. While elsewhere advancements were being made with features such as interaction and personalisation, Myspace seemed reluctant to change. The mid 00s saw something of a Social-space Race, of which they certainly did not come out on top.

Other networks, predominantly Facebook and Twitter, offered a much more complete service to users. Instantaneous, simple features such as Facebook’s “like” button quickly became valued beyond the basic commenting ability offered by Myspace. Alongside this, the ability to personalise Myspace pages with HTML codes resulted in a great deal of disfigured pages, littered with hidden links and random creator accreditation which, quite frankly, annoyed a lot of people. Facebook’s sleek, fresh and simple design quickly became favourable.

Much like what happened with the idea of a News Feed, it began to seem like Myspace was cottoning on ideas just a little bit too late. Users quickly became despondent, not least because of the lack of quality control – ads were often risqué and further down the line some seriously spammy pop-ups started to come along. It didn’t take long before people migrated to Facebook – and when one person left, many of their friends soon followed.

The final straw was when the musicians started leaving. Up until a certain point, bands would have used Myspace as the place to release their music – even after they had naturally migrated to Facebook for their personal accounts. However, when Facebook started to provide better page options, many Muso’s decided it was time to say adios to Tom.

What is it now?

If this article has got you feeling nostalgic enough to revisit your old profile, don’t get your hopes up. Myspace has since reinvented itself, with the help of Justin Timberlake, as a Social Networking site with a firm focus on music, streaming radio, music mixes and video. Launched officially on June 12, 2013, the new Myspace saw off Myspace Classic. This meant a considerable amount of user’s information was deleted, resulting in a huge backlash of complaints.

Where is Tom now?

Tom Anderson, co-founder of Myspace, was the first default connection that anybody had when they joined the site. He retired from the company after selling it for $580 million dollars in 2009. If you’re wondering where our old friend has got to, he is now having the time of his life travelling around the globe snapping landscape and nature photos. At least there is a happy end to the story.

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