All the social media apps and sites we all use today -- Facebook, Blogger, Vine, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Foursquare, Skype, theChive, Pandora, SnapChat, and Pinterest -- all originated from one original social media site that included all of these formats into one. Created in 2003 by Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson, MySpace was the largest social networking site in the world and in June 2006, surpassed Google as the most visited website in the United States. In April 2008, MySpace was overtaken by Facebook in the number of unique worldwide visitors and was surpassed in the number of unique U.S. visitors in May 2009, though MySpace generated $800 million in revenue during 2008. Since then, the number of MySpace users has declined steadily in spite of several reboots.
In May 2014, MySpace was ranked 982 by total web traffic and 392 in the United States. MySpace had a significant influence on pop culture and music and created a gaming platform that launched the successes of Zynga and Rock You, among others. The site also started the trend of creating unique URLs for companies and artists. In June 2009, MySpace employed approximately 1,600 workers. In June 2011, Specific Media Group and Justin Timberlake jointly purchased the company for approximately $35 million. Under new ownership, the company had undergone several rounds of layoffs and by June 2011, MySpace had reduced its staff to around 200.
Most people don’t remember, but Facebook's original format was much similar to use and was marketed as a simpler alternative to MySpace. Over time, Facebook has turned into everything that MySpace used to be and the other social media sites and apps are for single uses like Instagram is for photos, Vine for short video clips, Twitter for statuses, Blogger for free personal blogs, Skype for video chats, YouTube to post videos, Pandora for music, Pinterest for sharing content and theChive for grouping and connecting. Facebook is large scale and can do all of these things, but originally Facebook only had a profile, likes, messaging and status posts. MySpace had every bit of this content in one and more. MySpace was completely customizable for your personality.
MySpace was retooled after its downfall giving into its seemly clone Facebook which has evolved into the exact same thing MySpace was. Now, MySpace is mainly for bridging the gap between music artists and their fans. Justin Timberlake now part-owner of MySpace has pushed for the sites re-popularity as he helped them launch a mobile app, reformat the site and promote its resurrection from the media grave. Now it is used for artists to post songs for their fans to blog and enjoy and to promote new albums.
I believe MySpace will fail yet again as there are so many other ways to do these things already. Trying to keep the once-booming company going seems pointless as today’s social networkers rarely go back to dead technology, however, the trend of vintage clothing coming back into style could make its way to the Internet for social sites. Are we looking at a trend of vintage media sites regaining popularity or is it a last stand for once popular sites fighting to survive?