Myspace was going to be the next big thing in the dawning world of social media…until it wasn’t.
Everyone had a Myspace, and if you’re going to try to tell us you didn’t, we’d call you a liar. It was thee website to be on for all your social media needs, but maybe that’s because it was basically the ONLY social media website at the time. Sure there was Friendster, but who remembers that?
Myspace introduced us to Tila Tequila, cool Indie bands, and allowed us all to indulge in html code to design our pages in the coolest way possible. If you wanted super crazy font and background on your page, you could have it. Ultimate customization was the name of the game.
Since then, Myspace has lost both co-founders, laid off staff, and has lost over 40 million visitors.
So why did Myspace fail?
To begin with, Myspace wasn’t really its own company. They were actually part of a marketing company selling junk items. Taking “inspiration” from Friendster, the webpage was created to promote those junk items; distribution for ads was the original intent. It then snowballed into a massive mess.
Myspace was a pioneer in influencer marketing. It’s debatable sure, but it’s hard to deny it. Myspace became a platform for musical acts, photographers, and other creators to share their art with the world. We were interested in them because they were normal, and internet users lust for normal yet exciting. It’s kind of like looking at yourself in the mirror on your best looking day.
Then legal mumbo jumbo overtook creative flow. When News Corp purchased the website in 2005, legal and corporate policies ran the show. Money was being spent on protecting the site, as opposed to investing in making it better.
One thing that Facebook is really good at is maintaining a space for social interaction. Myspace started off that way, kinda, but then turned into more ad space. Instead of doing one great thing, Myspace designers tried to do a lot of things in an average capacity.
By the way, Myspace tried to purchase Spotify, and was terribly unsuccessful. When it came to the social networking game, Spotify was up and coming by combining music with your social network. Myspace was the only site where you could go and play any song for free. But Myspace had such a bad repertoire by that point, they were already in too deep.
“We never wanted to admit to ourselves that we’d lost the social war. The identity was owned by Facebook. On Facebook you were your real name, you were yourself. On MySpace you were like 420princessxxx.” – Sean Percival, VP Online Marketing