When I was a kid, before Facebook, Twitter, iTunes, Spotify or ANY of the now globally recognised brands there was the original social media, MySpace, but since the rise of the above, it’s gone unnoticed and unloved.
MySpace, a founding father of social media, suffered a major decline in membership from the 2008 to present resulting from a range of poor decisions. It was soon overtaken and surpassed by Facebook which had the opportunity to learn from the former social media mogul’s mistakes. There is a lot of speculation as to why MySpace experienced such a massive exodus, but it is no mystery.
The major reason for the MySpace’s decline is they rarely evolved the service; it became stagnant and boring. Facebookers will see several new layout changes every year, (which are usually universally panned until they get used to, everyone hates change don’t you know) put in place to improve user experience.
One of Facebook’s most obvious and more recent changes was the introduction of the “Timeline” feature which made re-visiting particular years in your history possible in a single click. On the old layout, reverting to past years would take several clicks of the “see older posts” button. This could take a very long time depending on your level of Facebook activity. A few other examples of features on Facebook since its launch are status updates, the integration of third party apps like games and “like” buttons. These added features make Facebook more engaging, universal, and fun/annoying (haha)!
What do we learn from MySpace’s decline? That it’s important to be keep moving forward with what you are doing ; to constantly evolve and grow. It’s important to serve your users/customers and accommodate their needs above all else. Could Facebook meet the same fate as MySpace?
Well, we may not have to wait to find out. Could it be that MySpace truly learned from it’s own foibles? Rebranded by a Justin Timberlake (of all people, wasn’t he in the Social Network? A FILM ABOUT FACEBOOK, TRAITOR!) driven musical look and feel, it seemed in early 2013 that the missing link of social media was about come back with a bang. A hesitant, albeit interested, anticipatory sigh of “Oh, MySpace is back,” began to echo through the halls (at least the virtual halls of tech blog institutions.)
February came and went with many offering opinions. Some said “masterful,” others, “innovative,” while others reserved judgement while keeping a key eye on the user. Then, March and April came and went. Now it’s October. How do you like that new feature they just introduced? You know the one that allows you to … Oh wait, pretty much no-one I know signed up…
While we still chuckle about the struggles of Google+ we never really give up on it, because Google is, well, Google – a Company that we seemingly cannot live without. So, we wait until they make good with their social media efforts. And if they don’t, that’ll likely be okay with us too.
But what about New MySpace? Well, say for example Google shuts down Google+ and then re-introduces it with the name “New Google+” after a significant time away? Exactly. No-one would bat an eyelid would they? And they’re HUGE MULTINATIONAL CORP Google …
That being said, no reason to write New MySpace’s obituary quite yet. I mean, would anybody bother to read it?
I guess the lesson here is simple, “once you’ve got it up, keep it up,” at least in the world of social media. With so much success and innovation to choose from, audiences have little time, and even less interest, to share with old friends who really don’t even look the same as they did in “the good old days.”
Do you miss MySpace? Do you have a New MySpace account? Did you discover any new up and coming bands on the service such as Lily Allen/Arctic Monkeys? Do you think Facebook will follow MySpace’s downward trend?
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