No joke: In 2006, people visit the Myspace website more often than Google search. Wondering Myspace? Never heard! Then you were probably born after 1995. Because the boom years of Myspace are a while back and are closely linked to the wild beginnings of the Internet. The history of the platform shows what was possible on the World Wide Web back then. It also shows that those who do not recognize the signs of the times quickly disappear from the scene.
Myspace is alive. However, the importance of one of the first social networks has suffered considerably in the past 20 years. Only a faint memory remains of the fame of being the most visited website in the world at times.
In the early 2000s, when Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe pursued the idea of offering an online community on the Internet where users could upload and save data free of charge, nobody knew the term social media. Originally serves the Myspace website just as a free data storage, hence the name “My place”.
At that time, Tom Anderson in particular maintained close contacts in the music industry. His circle of friends includes many artists, musicians and bands. That’s why the idea of redesigning Myspace into a place for precisely this target group soon arises. In July 2003 the new community goes online.
Platform for music lovers
First in the US, the site is becoming the hottest place on the World Wide Web. Because with the focus on music, the community hits the nerve of the times. Spotify, Amazon Prime and Co. do not exist yet. Back then, if you wanted to listen to music in digital form, you had to get the albums of your favorite band from illegal download sites like Napster.
Myspace fills this gap. In no time at all, every self-respecting musician or band has a Myspace account. Record labels support the hype and upload exclusive songs to the platform. This in turn attracts fans and makes Myspace the social network for all music lovers.
Of course, lesser-known artists also recognize the possibilities of Myspace. Therefore, Myspace forms the platform for many bands to gain greater awareness. The music-focused social network anticipates a development that YouTube or Soundcloud serve today.
Also read: What became of Napster, Second Life and Co.
Rupert Murdoch takes over Myspace
The community grows and grows. Up to 230,000 new members register in the early days. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is also aware of this rapid development. His News Corporation buys Myspace for a whopping $580 million.
Back then, Myspace was one of the most valuable portals on the web. Mark Zuckerberg is said to have offered the Myspace founder Chris DeWolfe his Facebook portal, which he launched in 2004, for sale. DeWolfe declines. If the story is actually true, a decision that he probably regrets to this day.
With the takeover by Rupert Murdoch, the success machine Myspace initially stayed on course. However, the new owner is trying to broaden the focus and thus expand the target group. Myspace is opening up for additional media content such as films and is developing more and more in the direction of a multimedia platform.
Myspace is resting on its own glory
This strategy actually seems to be working. The numbers continue to rise. In the meantime, Myspace has also established itself in Germany. Shortly after its launch in January 2007, the platform already had 2.5 million members. However, trouble is already looming on the horizon. Because Facebook has now blossomed into a size that should no longer be underestimated. In 2008, Facebook overtakes Myspace in terms of membership.
This turning point ruthlessly shows what Myspace has forgotten with all the hype surrounding the platform: to further develop the network and thus keep it attractive for members. Facebook can do that much better now. Even then, Mark Zuckerberg had a flair for trends that were worth copying. However, Facebook does not simply copy certain functions from other platforms, but develops an even better solution.
Meanwhile, Myspace members are abandoning the platform in droves and joining Facebook. In response, Myspace is trying to differentiate itself from its social media competitors. In the meantime, however, Facebook has already made an uncatchable leap.
Also read: What actually became of “Myspace” Tom?
Myspace today: One of many social networks
In the summer of 2011, Rupert Murdoch and his News Corporation had had enough. He sold Myspace for $35 million, a huge loss.
In 2013, new owners, which include singer and actor Justin Timberlake, attempt to give Myspace a makeover. This also works for a short time, probably because of the draft horse Justin Timberlake. But soon Myspace sinks back into the depths of insignificance.
In the period that followed, Myspace no longer attracted any positive attention. negative already. In March 2019 it came out: During a server move, most of the photos, videos and audios that were uploaded by users before 2016 simply disappeared. Myspace is now one of countless social networks on the World Wide Web. Will the glory days ever come back?