MySpace Finally Dead

I head that MySpace is dead. No one actually uses that site anymore. At least that’s what I’m told. I haven’t logged into my account in ages.

People have been talking about death of MySpace for several years now. There are heaps of well argumented obituaries for this popular social networking service appearing even back in 2006. Or maybe even earlier. Last summer, Facebook finally took the lead as the best social networking site EVAR (that’s the official title BTW) scoring more unique worldwide visits than any other network in existence. After that, did MySpace even stand a chance?

I mean, they were hardly a competitor anyway. Anyone with a pinch of aesthetic taste would take the sleek, uniform design of Facebook over the messy, clunky MySpace madness any day. It sucked from the day one. Tom was an ass from day one. Bots were sending me spam from the day one. People had cross site exploits on their profiles, from day one. MySpace was designed from ground up to maximize the suck factor.

I mean, what other website on EARTH would ever allow your users to inject custom CSS and HTML into comment boxes in lieu of a more robust profile customization feature?

But most people loved it, which only reinforced by notion that most people are fucking idiots (present company excluded). Yaay, let’s all make our profiles unreadable mess, using shady code copied and pasted from some random website, complete with 3rd party adds, and tracking cookie dipensers. And then, check it out – we blast lout obnoxious music on auto play whenever someone visits. It’s AWESOME!

I swear, every time I visit MySpace, I feel like I’m back in the 90’s when everyone had a shitty website on Geocities with lot’s of blink tags, animated gifs (mostly mailboxes and under construction signs) and an incredibly annoying midi set to play in the background. Exact same same soul crushing experience, different medium.

Needless to say, I’ve been waiting for MySpace to drop dead for years now. I knew that this abomination can’t ride on stupid people’s love for ugly, loud and annoying personal profiles. After all, stupids have short attention spans. But despite all it’s flaws, and strong competition MySpace kept on going, and going, and going. Like that fucking Energizer Rabbit. What they don’t tell you, is that the rabbit takes crack – just like the people who bought MySpace from Tom for biiiilions of dollars.

But I think it finally happened. MySpace is on it’s death bed. How do I know that? Do I have statistical data to support this claim? Nope, of course not. Besides, 90% of statistical data is either collected wrong or totally made up. Especially on blogs. Especially this one.

All I have are my personal observations and the word on the street.

A lot of people who used MySpace exclusively, migrating over to Facebook wholesale. In the last month or so, quite a few people I knew in the past added me on Facebook. Why? Because most of them were adding everyone they could find from their Myspace friend list. People are moving out of that glitter and crap ghetto. So I’m not just using the word “migration” figuratively here. I really think this is a serious population shift. Facebook achieved a critical mass in the past year or so, and it provides it’s users with superior features and user experience. Smarter people are reacting to that. Stupids, on the other hand go where their friends are. So it is a chain reaction, and it will only speed up in the next few months.

Every once in a while when I’m around people my age or younger I will throw this out there:

“I head that MySpace is dead. No one actually uses that site anymore. At least that’s what I’m told. I haven’t logged into my account in ages.”

In the past, some people would disagree and tell me that while they hate it, they still know lot’s of people who use it exclusively. Nowadays everyone agrees with me. Hell, people throw in their own observations that support the “MySpace is Dead” statement. So I think it’s happening folks.

These might not be the most reliable indicators of a impending fall of a giant, but they are good enough for me. I think that the former behemoth of social networking is on it’s last legs. I have no clue how long do they have until they start hurting financially. Will they ever actually hurt? Fox can probably keep it afloat long after it ceases to be profitable. All they need to do is to keep pouring cash at it.

They still have a sizable user base (mostly composed of bots, but I guess bots generate page views to, no?) so I don’t expect them to go under any time soon. I believe they will stick around forever. Like AltaVista mentioned in that first link. It’s still around, but no one ever uses it. Thus is the fate of MySpace. It will fade into obscurity and be forgotten. Either that, or bots will take over it and spam each other into oblivion.

What do you think? Do you still use that site? Do you thing it has any future? Did you hate it as much as I did, back when it was still cool?

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17 Responses to MySpace Finally Dead

  1. Steve CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I never used MySpace. I created a site to send a comment to someone for some reason, which totally eludes me. I never did anything with my MySpace page. I couldn’t stand the disorganized mess it appeared to be.

    I had to laugh when you mentioned the music and crappy html…that’s what turned me off immediately.

    As for Facebook, I had an account – had it for a long time – but just could not stand the new interface. They totally messed up and I bailed. :)

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  2. I agree.
    What’s that “first link” from AltaVista you’re talking about?

    God my stomach hurts. Facebook isn’t Too much better.
    Facebook includes a whole bunch of useless clubs, and stupid games.
    The twitter like micro blogging is the right idea.
    Having stupid games is not.

    I’m looking for a hybrid of the now dead Pownce and Twitter; maybe abit of Pownce to throw in there.
    Firefox Addons are a necessity for assuring maximum compatibility.

    I don’t know, when it came to myspace I always had No Script enabled.
    It bothers me people still try to find music through there.
    People that use myspace are like people who use IE.

    I find it amusing they copied the draft functionality apparent in Gmail.

    Now we’re all just waiting for a better social website.
    It’ll come.
    Facebook is it.

    Why? Because you can’t have a real blog option, it’s all tied to the micro blog.
    There needs to be something like Pownce, with a subscription option- linking music files, etc.
    A mixture of sqaurespace and Tumblr for the blog.

    I think the Myspace generation/ability to customize your page and make it look like shit was necessary.
    Now that we’ve all learned from that little episode.

    If google made something they would have a ANTI-Trust suit against them though, like usual.

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  3. maybe abit of *tumblr to throw in there.

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  4. Facebook *isn’t it. (Sorry.)

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  5. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    [quote post="2829"]As for Facebook, I had an account – had it for a long time – but just could not stand the new interface. They totally messed up and I bailed.[/quote]

    I didn’t like it at first either. Now I even don’t remember why. I got used to it. Besides, I don’t spend that much time over at FB. My status updates there are fed off of twitter. My notes are syndicated from this blog. I log in only when I get notifications or when need to IM the people who don’t actually have email or AIM accounts anymore. So it doesn’t bother me.

    [quote post="2829"]What’s that “first link” from AltaVista you’re talking about?[/quote]

    Oh, I meant the Scott Smigler’s blog entry which I linked to in the first paragraph. He compares MySpace to AltaVista which used to have an enormous following up until everyone fell in love with Google.

    [quote post="2829"]If google made something they would have a ANTI-Trust suit against them though, like usual. [/quote]

    You mean like Orkut? Yeah, they did the whole social networking thing a while ago. It totally bombed in US, but Brazilians can’t get enough of it. :)

    They also own Jaiku which is a Twitter clone with a bigger feature set.

    [quote post="2829"]Why? Because you can’t have a real blog option, it’s all tied to the micro blog.[/quote]

    Well, Facebook has the Notes App (which used to be a core functionality). It is pretty much a blog with it’s own RSS feed, comments and etc. They just don’t call it a blog, but that’s what it is.

    As an added bonus, you can use it to syndicate posts from your regular blog. So all TI entries are cross-posted to my Facebook.

    [quote post="2829"]Facebook isn’t Too much better.
    Facebook includes a whole bunch of useless clubs, and stupid games.[/quote]

    Yeah, but the beauty of it is that you don’t have to participate in any of these things. I even think there is a setting to ignore invitations sent from 3rd party facebook apps somewhere in there.

    I don’t mind that these things exist. I mean, they are added value for those who enjoy this sort of thing. I just don’t want them on my profile. The Facebook App infrastructure is modular enough to allow me to keep the clutter to minimum, while allowing others to indulge themselves. Works for me.

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  6. vacri AUSTRALIA Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I mean, what other website on EARTH would ever allow your users to inject custom CSS and HTML into comment boxes in lieu of a more robust profile customization feature?

    http://www.sensibleerection.com (sometimes nsfw)

    It allows whatever html you can think up in the comments box. Been like that for years. It’s an intentional design point to allow people to play with things. For most posts nothing beyond common links is used, but occasionally people get creative. Rarely does someone screw up a page, and when that happens, one of the more html-capable users is usually able to add a subsequent comment with a bit of code to nullify it. Sometimes you get some quite creative stuff.

    To some degree it’s a bit like the wikipedia criticism – “What? Just let any old random person do it? It’s guaranteed to be shithouse!”. It all depends on how you do it and what kind of community you attract.

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  7. Mack UNITED KINGDOM Safari Mac OS says:

    My hatred of myspace is proportional to its popularity. I’m reaching indifference levels.

    I just don’t agree with social networking sites on principle. They’re pretty much the most anti social things going because they promote electronic communication addiction over actaully going out and doing stuff with other people.

    I could hate MSN for the same reason, but MSN is pretty minimalist by nature, no matter how much it’s tries not to be with all the glittery fucking add on shits, but facebook starts at the other end of the critical mass of crap spectrum, offering vast oppurtunities for people to plaster their online bedrooms with rubbish music, cliche upon cliche, and generally nothing worth seeing at all.

    Social networking sites are generally excersises in seeing how bland and blank people actaully are. And it’s a vicious feedback loop – The more time one spends on a social networking site, the less life experience one actaully has to talk about, and the less life experience somone has to talk about, the more likely they are to prefer nonthreatening facebook to real life communication.

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  8. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    @Mack: I don’t necessarily agree with that. I’ve seen real people use it for very social purposes. A lot of people use it to schedule social events. This can be done via the built in even app, allowing people to RSVP or in an ad hoc manner using status messages.

    For example someone posts something like “ultimate Frisbee, the quad, noon today”. Someone responds to that, other people re-post that message and next thing you know you have like 60 people in the quad at noon. This is actually an emergent behavior that some of my students have discussed when they did a presentation on Facebook. I didn’t realize it worked like that but apparently it does.

    It is also great for sharing pictures. For example when my brother organized an end of semester party, people collaboratively uploaded and tagged over a hundred pictures (from several different cameras) of that event.

    So yeah, I’ve seen Facebook enhance rather than replace or hinder social interactions at least in a college campus setting.

    I do get what you mean – that whole “online social networking hinders real social networking” idea is very common and very prevalent. But I now believe it is largely false based on my observations on how college students use this tool.

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  9. Mack UNITED KINGDOM Safari Mac OS says:

    Mhm, agreed with. Being a university student, I’ve never seen anything like this, only Facebook as a gossip tool. I guess the spectrum goes both ways.

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  10. Ido ISRAEL Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    MySpace isn’t dead, it’s just not a social network anymore, it’s a platform for new and existing music artists.

    MySpace is the place to go if you want to hear music. Today, almost every artist I know of has a MySpace account.

    If I hear of a new band and I want to see if I like them enough to go to a concert, I’ll go to their MySpace account. and If I want to introduce a new artist to a friend of mine, I’ll send him to the artist’s MySpace account. If I want to know when an artist is performing in my city, I’ll go to MySpace.

    And MySpace is taking action in that direction, they started a new music service, selling DRM-free songs and I think that they are also selling songs of artists which are not part of a record company, on a rev-share basis (couldn’t find reference for the rev-share part, but I remember reading it somewhere)

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  11. Please keep in mind that I love aesthetics:

    At work, I was looking around at this ass ugly desktop backgrounds some people would use, that clashed with the color scheme of windows (admittedly not much to work with) XP. They had poorly lit pictures of them and their friends as their desktop that looked like it was taken from a mobile phone and boosted to 800 X 600 (and they were using 800 X 600 resolution).

    The desktops make me sick, I don’t know how they can possibly function like that… For contrast here are my bgs for my iPhone and Ubuntu

    http://www.travismccrea.com/images/IMG_0010.PNG

    http://www.travismccrea.com/images/ubuntu22jan2009.png

    but then I realised a nice looking background a usable interface isn’t what entertains them… Its the smile they get on their face when they minimize outlook and it takes them 10 minutes to find where IE is on their desktop while they also get too look at that crappy picture that makes it worth it to them…

    Just like on myspace, they WANT to hear what their friends are listening to, and don’t want to bother pressing a play button… thats not wrong… its just different. We look for code standards because thats what we do all day… they don’t care about our standards, XHTML means NOTHING, hell they don’t even know what that is… they don’t even know what CSS is… they just know that they copy and paste words to their myspace and it works!

    Some even venture to find how to change colors and images.

    Once again… its not that they are doing it wrong… they are just not following the same web standards that the rest of us hold…

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  12. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @Ido: True, they still have the music thing. But I wonder if they can survive as a music platform if they are no longer a viable social network.

    @Travis McCrea: True, but I noticed that this is a linear progression. When people first learn about computers they go “ZOMG! Look, I put my pictur on my desktop!” At that stage they create tacky, horrible looking MySpace designs because they can. Eventually they will gravitate towards something that at least has a good color composition.

    But that’s not the point. I was not blaming people for their crappy pages. That’s what people do – you are right. Perhaps enabling them to do this can be considered a feature.

    But MySpace did it backwards. Instead of designing a profile editor that would allow people to change colors, use background images and reposition page elements, they allowed them to inject CSS into their profile. So as cliche as it sounds, they took a known bug, and re-branded it as a feature.

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  13. Morghan Phoenix UNITED STATES Epiphany Linux says:

    I keep a myspace page, but it hasn’t been updated in ages, and I never log on. It’s primary purpose was to keep track of people I knew when I moved across the country, and I do that almost entierly by RSS feeds of their myspace blogs. I gave up telling people who I would think had more sense that the “pimped” profiles gave me a headache and slowed down my machine more than I was willing to accept to keep track of them. Not that I feel facebook is any better, and it’s getting worse as it grows in popularity.

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  14. Starhawk UNITED STATES Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Hmm ya know I have a myspace page Luke, lol. I don’t think itis dead either tho i do know people that have left it for facebook. Dying maybe, dunno? Anyway It is a good place for new or old bands and I kinda like it mostly for the people i have meet there, and btw i don’t hink my profile is too much of a mess … at least by myspace standards, lol.

    And btw sorry about using windows and er OMG IE, I am not at home, lol. peace

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  15. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    @Starhawk: Oh, hey – I forgot. I haven’t logged into myspace for a while. Ok, I hereby amend my post to include the fact I know of one person who uses MySpace over Facebook. :)

    Still, most people I knew IRL and who were die-hard MySpace users and who scoffed at Facebook recently jumped ship. On after the other. I found that indicative of an impending failure of the service.

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  16. Robert UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I really don’t completely understand why people feel like it’s worth writing about.. Or worth paying much thought to at all, for that matter.

    I do use myspace though, and I’ve tried Facebook but just don’t like it.

    Most of the things that the writer bitched about in this article are completely avoidable. If you don’t like the way certain parts of somebody’s profile loads (extra codes, automatic music, ect) you are very welcome to going into your preferences and disabling all that.

    And yeah, a feisty 13 year old can add a lot of stupid looking shit to a profile on Myspace.. And they can make quite an eye sore, no doubt about that.. But so? Most people with a shred of sense aren’t going to make their profile look like shit >.>’. And if having people possibly making eyesores is the cost for also having people who can create a very organized and original profile layout, then so be it. As aforementioned, one can always edit what they do and don’t see on a profile (these controls are getting pretty flexible, too. I have to say I’m surprised).

    Finally, I don’t think you’ll see Myspace die anytime soon.. In fact, I would expect Facebook to take the fall first. I say this simply because the foundation myspace has laid out for so many up and coming artists of all sorts! It’s a very welcoming community to many different activities. Nobody will argue that Myspace DOESN’T have a pretty kickass music set up, and the video setup seems to be coming along well too. Facebook lacks these things. Facebook essentially remains the simple profile that people use for shits and giggles. ANNDDD, Facebook’s audience has been getting younger and younger overtime as well. Eventually those 13-14 year old kids are gonna get tired of their shit, and they’ll find the next popular internet trend, if you will.. But Myspace will still be going strong as it cadres to a much more consistent and reliable community overall.

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  17. Robert UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Just noticed this article was a year old >.>… Thought it was THIS year. Shit. Well, I suck.

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