Social networking website Myspace is still alive and kicking in 2017 and has in fact outlived its contemporary platforms like Friendster or until a few months ago, Vine.
In this modern day era of Facebook and Instagram, and Twitter at a distant third, it is really surprising that Myspace is staying alive and steady, despite being old school.
Critics believe that it is perhaps because of its easier navigability like Facebook that Myspace still exists as it continues to offer an interactive, user-submitted network of friends, personal profiles, blogs, groups, photos, music, and videos.
Acquired by News Corporation in July 2005 for a whopping $580 million, Myspace is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California.
Once the largest social networking site
From the period 2005 to 2009, 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 US visitors in May 2009, though Myspace generated $800 million in revenue during the 2008 fiscal year.
Since then, the number of Myspace users has declined steadily in spite of several redesigns. As of October 2016, Myspace was ranked 2,154 by total web traffic, and 1,522 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 RockYou, among others. The site also started the trend of creating unique URLs for companies and artists.
In June 2009, Myspace employed approximately 1,600 employees. Two years later, Specific Media Group and Justin Timberlake jointly purchased the company for approximately $35 million.
Under the new ownership, the company had undergone several rounds of layoffs and by June 2011, Myspace had reduced its staff to around 200.
The death of the previous social media sites
Meanwhile, it was late in October last year when Twitter announced Vine’s death sentence.
According to Twitter, Vine users will still be able to download their Vines soon, but the company which bought Vine in 2012, made it sound like those short videos would no longer be hosted at all, effectively deleting them.
The reason was believed to be the cost of storage. Paying for servers to host the approximately 39 million Vines uploaded could be expensive. Or maybe not, given that traffic to a defunct platform would be low, and 39 million Vines at 1 MB each is only 39 terabytes.
For a sense of what it costs to store that amount of data on a cloud, Google Drive charges $399 per month for 40 GB. Not accounting for costs of the architecture to make the Vines available, it’s not all that pricey for a company like Twitter, details Yahoo! Finance.
Friendster fell out of favor in 2006, long before phones and dominant social media networks, but didn’t die until 2011, when it was virtually unused.
But Myspace still exists. The first major social network, once bigger than Google, was never actually shut down, despite its Shakespearean downfall to the ignominy of a punchline.
Today, it’s an internet ghost town, an archeological marvel of millennial middle school-era blackmail and failed bands.
All it takes is a “forgot password” link to dig up one’s internet time capsule, almost nine years after people probably left it for Facebook.
Myspace, despite the amount of users who have used its platform, may have had a much easier time than Twitter would in order to keep its platform around as a library of the past.
Back then, Myspace was little more than low-res images and awkward first-date banter between users getting used to a new use for the internet. Considering the sizes of those images and text, it is possible all that data just isn’t that big a deal to keep around.
But another reason Myspace remains while Vine is already dead is because of data. As asinine as all the early Myspace content may be for its inactive users, much of the data is text, which is easily searchable and potentially valuable, as are the profiles, which is why Time Inc. bought Myspace’s parent company Viant in 2016.
But that utility doesn’t exist for Vine. Vines are not easily searchable or tagged well by its users. And since Vine accounts are often simply extensions of Twitter accounts, there’s probably not any fresh profile data to mine or sell.