What happened to MySpace?

Who wants to be the ‘next MySpace’? The answer is no one because in social media terms, the phrase is now recognised as a way of implying something will fail.

In ‘Urban Dictionary’ the term ‘next MySpace’ is defined as a way of referring to ‘anything that was once successful but a big failure now, or going to be a fail.’ (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Next+Myspace).

So the big question is, what went wrong to make the social network giant MySpace lose its crown and be referred to in this way?

MySpace was co-founded by Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe in 2003. A year later, Facebook was launched and quickly started to compete with MySpace.

In 2005, News Corp bought MySpace for US$580 million (£361 million). It is here that things seem to have started to go wrong. Tom Anderson is quoted on the Wikipedia website as saying: “Before [the acquisition], I could do whatever I wanted. Now it takes more time to get people to agree on things. All the budget reviews and processes. That can be a pain. But it’s not stopping us.”[ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Anderson ).

Other people saw things differently. Reuters claimed News Corp executive, who did not want to be named, said: “Tom [Anderson] was responsible for the product but ended up being a complete bottleneck on getting things done.” We will probably never know the truth.

MySpace continued to progress for a while and in mid 2006 its one hundred millionth member joined. Facebook focused on meeting user demand while MySpace added more pages to its website which was been described by MySpace former vice-president Sean Percival as a ‘massive spaghetti-ball mess’ (see http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/mar/06/myspace-what-went-wrong-sean-percival-spotify).  It didn’t take long before Facebook became the most popular social networking site in 2008 and within a year, Tom Anderson was replaced as President and Chris DeWolf was replaced as CEO.

By July 2010, MySpace switched its niche from being a social networking site to an entertainment platform and sets age demographics for thirteen to twenty five, which didn’t appear to go down well with its users. Within a short while speculation started over the sale of MySpace and in March or April 2011 News Corps confirmed that MySpace was up for sale.

In June 2011, Specific Media picked up MySpace for a bargain price of $35 million gaining 95% control. With Justin Timberlake as a minority shareholder, Specific Media set about establishing MySpace as a music-centred social network.

Where is it going in the future? Watch MySpace!