Blast from the Past: 3 Social Media Sites that Died and Why
Sadly, some may never know of the social media sites that died.
Unbeknownst to many born after the year 2000, social media existed way before Facebook first launched its website. While big brands have begun dominating the internet, many other platforms have quietly packed their bags and bade their farewells to social media.
We have done our research and dug up 3 social media sites that died. Going beyond just listing 3 of them, we will also highlight why they have failed and what we can learn from them moving forward.
First, Some Definitions
Before we unveil 3 of the most popular social media sites that died, we need to answer one big question – that is, what is “social media”?
Problems with Definition
Crafting a list of social media platforms is a piece of cake. But how exactly is the term “social media” defined?
The problem with defining social media lies in its fluidity.
Back at the dawn of the millennium where the idea of “social media marketing” was only a niche phenomenon, the idea of “social media” could be accredited to the idea of an online platform used for social networking, content creation, and microblogging. As long as it allowed users to share content and connect with each other, a platform could easily label itself as a social network.
These days, “social media” encompasses a lot more than that. With the rise of “social media marketing”, the idea of “social media” involves marketing, content sharing and also customer engagement across numerous platforms. It has become a marketing tool for brands to expand their reach. Brands also use social media to engage with their customers on a more inclusive and integrated platform.
To date, the “Big 4” in social media are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Put simply, some sites have not been able to keep up.
Engaging and interconnecting means of communication and content-sharing has become a key deal breaker when it comes to success. These days, without a user-friendly interface, chatbots and plugins to raise brand awareness, visibility – it is difficult for any platform to go head-to-head with the big 4.
Thus, some of these sites have shuffled off this metal coil and abruptly exited the scene.
Social Media Sites that Died
Get ready for a blast from the past. Here is our list of social media sites that died.
Canadian programmer Jonathan Abrams founded Friendster in 2002. This platform had over 3 million members within the first few months of their launch in 2002. Esquire, US Weekly, Entertainment Weekly commended the Friendster founder for his huge success. Friendster was one of the first sites that permitted users to share pictures, videos and text content.
To most millennials in Singapore, you had to have an account on Friendster to be one of the cool kids!
With its success why did Friendster fall from grace?
Mashable’s Robert McMillan attributed its slow-loading speed, numerous technical glitches, and its refusal to partner with Google as key reasons for its failure to be at the forefront of the social network. Friendster users eventually migrated to the more nimble and advanced Facebook when it was launched in February 2004.
Lessons from the Past
Friendster’s demise proves one thing: social networking goes beyond just offering users a platform to interact with each other digitally. It is key to ensure all bugs are addressed to make the user experience a pleasant one.
Since its demise, Friendster has been converted into a gamers’ platform for social gaming. However, as of February 2015, Friendster said its last goodbyes as it informed users of its indefinite hiatus.
Does anyone remember the guy above?
That’s Tom Anderson, the creator of MySpace.
MySpace was one of the most widely-used social networking sites at the start of the 21st Century. It allowed users to connect, interact, blog and share text, visual and video content across. When it first launched in 2003, over 20 million users were active. Users had the freedom to design their own MySpace profiles interact with other users.
Seeing as it had such a wide user base, why did they still lose to Facebook?
In an article about Marketing Weekly by Laura O’Reilly, the writer illustrated how MySpace lacked innovation and a clear understanding of their audience. In her 1000-word article, O’Reilly describes how users preferred Facebook’s user-friendly interface and hassle-free user experience. MySpace also lacked instant messaging, chatbots and security measures to protect its users. In fact, it seems as though MySpace has just become a platform for “social entertainment”.
Key Takeaway Points
The MySpace experience illustrates the need for instant messaging platforms. This plugin allows users to connect efficiently and more engagingly with their followers. These days, it is absolutely critical to ensure the user experience is a secure and efficient one.
While MySpace is still active, the Big 4 still take the lead in the social network.
What started as a user-generated quiz platform eventually became a social network for content-sharing, tagging, microblogging and digital interaction. Quizilla’s founder, Matthew Nielsen, first launched the website in 2002. In less than a year, the number of users amounted to 330,000 with more than 9 million page loads a day. The Gazette Review even commended the platform for being one of the firsts to incorporate “tagging”. Quizilla was later sold to Teen Nick in October 2006. But shut down completely in September 2014.
What happened? The Gazette Review has explained it in 2 comprehensive paragraphs, but we have condensed them into a brief paragraph:
The Gazette Review has explained that an entire crackdown on content produced before 2010 by Teen Nick occurred. This caused Quizilla to lose a huge amount of users. Quizilla also had poor loading speed and numerous bugs that caused the server to crash frequently. Eventually, these led to the demise of Quizilla.
For one, it is critical to make sure all website errors are addressed in a heartbeat to avoid losing customers. Secondly, deleting user’s content without any reason or prior warning could cause you to lose your user’s trust.
Gone but Not Forgotten
“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Finally, the purpose of this blog article goes beyond soaking in the nostalgia of olden social networks. As we bade au revoir to the social media sites that died, make sure that you bear in mind the key takeaways we’ve listed. Use their demise as key learning points to maximise your social media strategies moving forward.
Are you committing these social media sins? Click here to view our list of deadly social media sins that could kill your online reputation and ruin your brand image on the internet today!
If you need some inspiration for your social media content, click here for some fun and interesting ideas.