Myspace: Do We Really Want A Comeback?
Just hearing the word MySpace (oops, now “Myspace”) floods my mind with memories of strategically placed Top 8s, customized flashy backgrounds and music, angsty posts, inside jokes and general obsession with the new social networking world. I was absolutely hooked on it and if you would have told me seven years later I would be shunning it, I would have never believed you.
Myspace was created in 2003 in response to Friendster, but was then sold to News Corporation in 2005 for $580M after its wild popularity. It was the most visited social media site in the entire world from 2005 to the beginning of 2008. Facebook was the protagonist of Myspace’s demise with its more exclusive college and high school only network at the time – and I abandoned it as soon as I was able to make my way into Mark Zuckerberg’s world.
The transition was quick and painless for new Facebook users who then began subscribing to new social networks like Twitter and Instagram, however still staying anchored to Facebook accounts and usually not renouncing it as we saw with MySpace. Justin Timberlake and Specific Media Group co-purchased the forgotten social network in 2011 hoping to make it “cool” again, and it is still unclear if their risk has been rewarded.
Design-wise, the site had an enormous upgrade with its clean layout and focus on pictures. However, some key elements of what made the site unique are missing. Obviously Tom, after selling his stake in the company, is no longer an instant friend and a top 8 is nowhere to be found. Myspace is heavily targeted to musicians, both superstars and independent artists, and many claim that they have had a breakout on the site due to the collective nature in content compared to the mega YouTube. Another marketing effort is targeted younger users who have never had a Myspace account.
With its latest decision on June 13th make room for the new, the social media site wiped out all “old MySpace” content with no prior warning, consquently losing loyal users’ years worth of messages, photos and, essentialy, memories. This is definitely bad PR in a time where they can use all the good word they can get, but I am somewhat relieved as I would be horrified to see my MySpace come back from the dead.
In a time where new networks are popping up left and right and the world is having enough anxiety keeping up with their favorite social media sites, why should we go back to our old stomping ground when we can embrace new platforms? Seeing that Myspace has made so many drastic changes, they could have just changed their name as well.
Eidos Tweet: Italian proverb: il brodo riscaldato non è mai buono (broth reheated never tastes good – essentially that once something is over, it shouldn’t be restarted).