When social media was in its beginnings, Myspace was the king of the hill.
From 2004 to 2008, you’d have a difficult time finding anyone who didn’t have a Myspace account. There were over 100 million accounts on Myspace by 2006. In 2007, Myspace was worth US$12 billion.
Myspace was responsible for breaking new music. The platform teamed up with YouTube to allow videos to be embedded on Myspace pages.
Artists like Sean Kingston, The Arctic Monkeys, Owl City and Lily Allen released music exclusively to the platform. It had its own record label and hosted major music festivals.
By 2008, Myspace was overtaken in traffic by Facebook.
Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp had bought Myspace in 2005 for US$580 million, but in 2011 sold it for a mere US$35 million.
Myspace is hardly the first social media site to rise and fall since the internet has become popular. What’s odd is that failed social media sites take on purposes they never were intended for after they fail.
Google launched the website Orkut in 2004 and made a huge push into the U.S. market. Orkut never took off in North America, but was hugely popular in Brazil and India, becoming the top website in both countries in 2008.
Orkut closed in 2014.
Friendster was one of the first social media sites, starting in 2002, before Myspace and Facebook. They were the top social networking site until 2004, when Myspace took over.
In 2008, Friendster was still hugely popular in Asia, hosting over 110 million accounts. By 2011, it was a social gaming website and in 2015 it shut down completely.
Bebo started in 2005 as a blog-style social media website, and was the top social network site in the U.K. and Ireland in 2008.
The site sold to AOL for US$850 million in 2008, but was bankrupt by 2013.
Today it hosts a streaming video site similar to Twitch.
Myspace still exists, too, but in a much different way.
As a smaller social media site, it’s become popular for smaller groups of friends. Mostly free of the advertising seen on Facebook, it is now a more cozy community.
It still offers streaming audio through a radio app and customized playlists. It has also launched a mobile app which can generate animations for Myspace music channels, as well as live streams of concerts.
Steve Marlow is the program co-ordinator at CFBX, an independent radio station in Kamloops. Tune in at 92.5 FM on the dial or go online to thex.ca.