Does Myspace Still Exist? | Why Did Myspace Fail?

Before Facebook, there was Myspace.

The company launched six months prior to Facebook, Myspace grew rapidly and was even the largest social network site world from 2005 to 2008. It was also almost to be bought by Facebook at one time.

But Myspace is almost obscure now in the eyes of many.

How did this come to be?

Let’s find out.

History of Myspace

The history of Myspace is one of true simplicity. Myspace (earlier stylized as MySpace) was launched on August 1, 2003, by Tom Anderson, Chris DeWolfe, and Brad Greenspan as their very own take on what a social network site should look like.

The three drew their inspirations for Myspace from Friendster (a social network site) that they were a part of – they took the most popular features of Friendster and implemented them with a few tweaks. The group had the first version of the Myspace site ready in about 10 days.

Myspace allowed its users to be able to create and fully customize their own profiles and allowed for you to send friendship requests – this was all the rage back in the early days of social networking sites. It also allowed its users to post photos, videos and music onto your profile using their subsections Myspace photos, Myspace videos, and Myspace music.

All this could be done by the users by using basic HTML and Myspace allowed for almost any type of content to be posted on its site. The only thing that Myspace censored was hate speech and extreme nudity.

All this meant that Myspace was very popular with the younger demographic of 16 to 25-year-olds. This popularity and the media capabilities support within the site meant it also drew in a lot of celebrities from the media industry onto their site – mainly music artists.

This popularity bought wide-spread attention to Myspace, which was soon acquired by the News Corporation (Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate) for about $580 million (£443m) in July 2005. Within a year after its acquisition, Myspace tripled in value and even overtook Google and Yahoo! to become the most visited site in the US in June 2006. Myspace became the largest social media site from 2005 to 2008, with over 80 million unique users a month at its peak in 2008.

Myspace earned a lot during this period and its only source of income was ad-revenue that it got from allowing adverts to be shown on their site.

Myspace Net Worth

In 2007, Myspace net worth peaked at $12 billion upon the attempted merger between News Corporation and Yahoo!. Later on, Myspace was valued at around $35 million –when Myspace was purchased by Specific Media and Justin Timberlake in 2011.

Among the three co-founders, Tom Anderson has the highest net worth – at around $65 million as of January 2020. Chris DeWolfe is estimated to have a net worth of $50 million and Brad Greenspan is estimated to have a net worth of $20 million.

So –

What caused Myspace to fail? Why isn’t Myspace as popular as Facebook or Twitter today?

Why Did Myspace Fail?

Myspace’s main competitor was Facebook. Even though both platforms had different visions and futures, they were the closest to one another at the time. This leads to direct comparisons between the platforms.

Here are several reasons as to why Myspace lost to its competitors – mainly Facebook – and isn’t relevant anymore –

Unintuitive User-Interface

Myspace was focused on allowing customizations by the user. While that is all well and good, it required users to know a bit of HTML in order to customize their profiles at the beginning. Though it later tried to remedy these problems by offering a cleaner UI and better design, it was too late and users had already moved on.

Too Many Advertisements

Myspace’s only source of revenue was by serving advertisements and they were pressured by their investors and partners to take an even aggressive approach on serving advertisements in order to make up for the dwindling user base. Though this helps them stay afloat, their site looked much cluttered with the presence of a lot of advertisements. This looked downright unattractive compared to the interface Facebook offered at the time.

Constant Redesign

Myspace has changed hands between 4 different companies and this meant a lot of changes were made by every owner. This meant a constant change in the direction and design of the site which frustrated the user base even more. It is estimated that 50% of Myspace users simply left because of this back in 2010 itself. Tom Anderson, also expressed his distaste on the ever-changing design and direction of the site he helped co-found –

tom anderson
Source: Appleton

Bleak Censorship

Though not censoring anything except for illegal content, hate speech and extreme nudity is a revolutionary feature in today’s online space, this meant that there was a higher chance of a youngster coming across age-inappropriate content while using the site. This made Myspace gain negative among the press and parents.

Use of Screennames

Myspace allowed its users to use any email to sign up and didn’t require you to be a part of any academic institution per se during the early days. It also allowed its users to anonymous usernames and details (screennames) instead of forcing them to use their real names. This made connecting with other users feel a bit disconnected compared to Facebook, where the users were forced to use their real names which made it much easier to connect on a personal level.

Slow Innovation

Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter were adding newer and creative features which made it much easier to use. This is the reason Facebook is considered the “grandfather of social networking” even though they weren’t the first. Myspace, on the other hand, failed to innovate and bring about newer features – even those that were doing well on other platforms quickly. This just accelerated users to move onto other platforms.

In an interview with Businessweek, former co-founder Chris DeWolfe mentioned that he thought the reason for Myspace’s decline was due to their overenthusiasm and under execution on the product side.

We tried to create every feature in the world and said, ‘O.K., we can do it, why should we let a third party do it?’ We should have picked five to ten key features that we totally focused on and let other people innovate on everything else.

As a result of all this, April 2008 saw Myspace lose to Facebook, never to recover again.

facebook myspace
Source: Business Insider

Which brings us to –

Does Myspace still exist?

Does Myspace Still Exist?

Yes, Myspace still exists and it is far from dead. It still has its Myspace domain up and running. Myspace was purchased and currently owned by Time Inc. since February 2016 and numerous redesigns and relaunches have occurred since then.

The Myspace desktop site is still receiving millions of visits every month and according to AdAge, it had around 15 million globally unique monthly visitors by the end of 2015.

Myspace also used to have its very own smartphone app on Android and iOS. But users can access the Myspace mobile web app by visiting from their mobile device.

There have also been a lot of security and data mishaps recently. In 2016, Myspace was hacked and user login details from accounts that were created prior to June 11, 2013, were stolen from the site.

myspace data breach
Source: SmallBizTrends

Also, Myspace deleted 12 years’ (2003 and 2015) worth of user data accidentally in a mishap while migrating from one server to another at the beginning of 2019.

myspace data loss
Source: ZDNet

The files got corrupted during the transfer and failed to show up on the updated platform.

Final Thoughts

Myspace is still a long way behind Facebook. That is not to say that Myspace never got anything right. It has tasted some success in recent years as a music-orientated social media site. Myspace had a superb marketing strategy. It allowed you to post any code – embed anything as long as you knew what you were doing.

Had the co-founders held onto Myspace and brought along new features and options to the table, things would have been quite different. Myspace still has a lot of things going for it such as the data of its users spanning decades, which is quite valuable than we think of it to be. The newer site is also more polished than ever. It may even see a resurgence to its glory days quickly upon the decline of Facebook.

Go On, Tell Us What You Think!

Did we miss something? Come on! Tell us what you think about our article on Why Did Myspace Fail in the comments section.

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  1. I’m an old guy who followed the crowd from MySpace to Facebook. I’m sorry everyone left. FB has become like Big Brother, controlling things to their as per their views, both political and personal. Even though they give everyone the option to chose who sees my posts, block unwanted comments, and even unfriend people, they stop individual’s post before they even go on. I was restricted for 30 days for reposting a cartoon from a different site because it made reference to suicide. It was caricatures of a lady reading a note pinned to her husband who was hanging from a rope that read “You misspelled ‘Constant Criticism’!” Is this Tipper Gore censuring rock bands all over again who by the way stopped her crusade as music went from being thought to be sending subliminal messages to sending literal ones that didn’t need deciphering. I understand censorship, but like the movies, tv shows, news broadcast and music, when we have a choice not to watch or listen, then leave that freedom to use at our own discretion.

    MySpace had everything. You could sing, play music, and even put excepts, or chapters of your book with no time constrictions. It’s fine for the owners and founders of the site to all ban political posts, but not just the ones that are detrimental to their own political preferences. My Space gave you freedom. It was clean, free from all controversy.
    I agree with not allowing politics, religion, bullying, and foul language, but do it from the onset for everyone, and don’t pick and chose.

    The point being, if you have the same technical knowledge and capabilities as the founders of MySpace, you might want to startup a site and name it something like “SafePlace”, or whatever. It would be refreshing. I thing it’s a time for a change for us all, and you just might be the person to give us a place to go. It’s a risk, but if Facebook did it, you just might!

  2. My friends left myspace for facebook, facebook’s success is perhaps because of people using their real names and finding friends is easy using search…

  3. As an author I used Myspace to post stories, verse, and blogs. I had a huge number of followers. I had the ability to change the appearance of my page to coincide with whatever story or book I was promoting. My fans loved it! And there was a top 100 for the top writers of the week. I could keep track of my “popularity” and how the writing was going over.

    Then it all changed.

    I know so many who would love to have that old Myspace return. They would rush over in droves at the prospect of enjoying their old site as it was back in the day.

    People! Sometimes things do not need to be fixed. As it is now, I wouldn’t waste my time or effort. There is nothing there that I can’t see on music sites.

    It is not a community of the multitude – it is streamlined for musicians and let’s face it… there are much better ways to check out our musician friends while also adding our own content.

    A smart person would take it back to what made it work in the past and maybe add a few links to html sites where the average joe can learn a few things.

  4. Trump will emerge on Myspace and the apps popularity will soar exponentially, to the detriment of effbook

  5. I hope MySpace overthrows Facebook only if it continues the original policy of not allowing hate Speech and nudity.
    Also in accurate information should not be allowed?

  6. Yes, the data loss is outrageous but it’s the user responsability to make backups of valuable (or not so valuable but nostalgic) data, and it’s plain stupid to trust a company you barely know even where’s located to take care of your precious bits. People nowadays don’t even know the meaning of the “backup” word. As for Myspace itself, for a time, I thought it was the best thing in the world, to be in contact with some of my favourite artists, cool people or fellow music producers like myself. Curious enough, Soundcloud underwent a revamp that took away most of its magic too. Seems its just like things are.

  7. There is a social platform called mewe where you are not censored by the biased media. Check it out. Great place to go to get away from Facebook who’s making money off of you while censoring what you say if they disagree with it.

  8. Facebook doesn’t require you to use your real name either. My Facebook name is totally fake which prevents people I don’t want contacting me from doing so. I let people I do want to communicate with know what my fake name is.

  9. I would have downloaded the app but when I discovered it is owned by Time, inc I got put off because of left leaning ownership. To bad, I was hopeful for a site I could count on to be neutral in today’s political climate.

    • Left leaning ownership? How narrow minded are you? There’s almost nothing that is politically neutral these days other than Michael Smerconish on Sirius Radio.

    • That really sucks, that’s why I was looking in to going back to MySpace. It’s too left for me.. We need a conservative site.. it would get sooooo many people switching from Facebook

      • the problem with like-minded people gathering on a platform specifically catering for them is that it prevents growth and the expansion of knowledge. We might not like everything which we see online, but it’s important to see every story from every angle, not the ones which we are immediately fond of.

        • I totally agree. I never cared about seeing other people’s perspective if it didn’t work with mine. Actually being on social media has totally changed my thoughts about that.
          It’s so important to know what other people’s perspective is, if not then we are just sheeple no matter what “side” we decide to take.

    • I really loved my myspace when I had it. I went to facebook because my friends migrated there. I have never been happy with them. I think it’s a boring site, no life to it. One of the things I liked about MySpace was I could choose a cool background. Today without warning I was reading some posts on Facebook and BAM my account logged off and my page and messenger were gone. I tried to sign back in and was told this: Your email doesn’t match any account on file. Only email I have. Explain that one because I sure can’t.

  10. One of the better written articles as to what happened with MySpace. Had been one of the early users & was turned off by the constant changes there. It was fun while it lasted. As a side note, when MySpace was close to the height of popularity, I knew a person that created MyTV as a MySpace spin off. He was even had the name trademarked. He did end up being paid by MySpace to hand over the trademark to them.

  11. great article! you left the best part for the end: “12 years worth of customer data deleted accidentally in a server migration” OMG I’ve seen data losses and migrations going evil, but this outrivals everything I have heard

    • Honestly, I would log in from time to time to look at my old pictures (I saved them in private folders) and my blogs. When I found out everything was deleted I was so sad. All of my photos from middle school and high school were there 🙁


Does Myspace Still Exist? | Why Did Myspace Fail?

by Bharath Sivakumar