Myspace’s Significance to Digital History
Myspace is my platform of choice for this assignment because it was the first social media platform I ever had. In fact, Myspace was the first social media platform for many people.
Myspace launched on August 1, 2003. Myspace was the top dog of social media platforms at the beginning of 2008, until April when Facebook grabbed the lead and never looked back (Lee, 2011). Today, Myspace’s number of site visitors has dropped by millions (McAuliffe, 2022). Critics blame Myspace’s downfall on their consistent administrative and strategic blunders combined with the inability to evolve with their competitors (Lee, 2011). Even though Myspace has plummeted in relevance, it still has kept a significance to digital history.
One of the most memorable parts of early Myspace was the user’s ability to customize everything on your page: from the background, to the song, to the icons. Users could turn their page into a place that expressed who they were. Coding was introduced to a lot of people through Myspace. People could learn HTML and CSS for more in-depth customization to create text effects and more. These skills may have introduced people to different career opportunities. HTML and CSS are basic tools web designers and other professions use. With other social media platforms, you’re stuck with the default template. Myspace has since removed this feature, but the customizability used to be one of the site’s best features (McAuliffe, 2022).
New Music and Artists
On Myspace, artists were able to upload their music straight to their page, as well as sell merchandise and publicize show information through the platform (McAuliffe, 2022). Bands could interact directly with fans. Adele was discovered on Myspace along with the metal band, Ghost. Panic! At the Disco even found their last band member on Myspace.
Many people on Myspace used to blog on the platform anonymously. Blogging on Myspace gave people the freedom to safely express themselves. This was especially beneficial to the LGBTQ+ community who may have been struggling with their identity and/or safety (McAuliffe, 2022).
The Fall of Myspace
Myspace was created by people in the entertainment industry, not by technology experts, therefore they couldn’t innovate fast enough to compete with other social media platforms (Lee, 2011). Myspace tried to imitate Facebook’s news feed and the overall “neat” look of Facebook in a desperate attempt to recoup its former success (Lee, 2011). Myspace still exists today, but it’s not as popular as it used to be. Myspace helped pave the way for social media platforms like Facebook, but the company has failed to stay innovative and relevant throughout the years.
Lee, A. (2011). Myspace Collapse: How the Social Network Fell Apart. HuffPost. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-myspace-fell-apart_n_887853
McAuliffe, Z. (2022). Early Myspace Was the Peak of Social Media. CNET. https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/early-myspace-was-the-peak-of-social-media/
Dredge. S (2015). Myspace — what went wrong: ‘The site was a massive spaghetti-ball mess’. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/mar/06/myspace-what-went-wrong-sean-percival-spotify