Let’s begin by defining social media. Social Media allows users to communicate, share ideas and information digitally on an online community, specially created for the purpose.
The early 2000s remained a peak year for social media sites, beginning with the first two social media platforms, Six Degrees and Friendster. These are, however, no longer in operation despite playing an essential part in kick-starting the social media movement. Other social media sites, such as LinkedIn, MySpace, and Facebook, were developed in the years that followed.
Among all social media platforms, Myspace had a tremendous breakthrough in only one year after it was founded in 2003, becoming a phenomenon in the making with more than 1 million people signing up within the first month. By the end of the year, Myspace had already had 5 million members. In 2005, it was bought over by News Corp., a media conglomerate, for $580 million. Even at the time, the company saw potential in social media advertisements and from 2005 to 2008, Myspace became the most frequented social networking site globally. By 2006, it even overtook Google in terms of visits. In 2003, fellow students at Harvard began an online collaboration service for students with some not-so-scrupulous intentions. Even as authorities shut it down, in just two days of its opening, the platform garnered around 22,000 votes. In January 2004, Zuckerberg registered www. facebook.com and launched a social network in February 2004.
What happened to Myspace, then?
Even if it was the world’s first social media platform, rising competition and product inconsistency led to its flameout.
Over the next four years, Myspace maintained 115 million subscribers against Facebook, which grew to almost 1 billion.
Let’s look at a few of the factors that contributed to Myspace’s collapse. First, Myspace would not allow users to use their real names as usernames, which created an unsafe online environment because they couldn’t tell who was on the other side. Second, cracks began to emerge as thousands of unknown profiles discovered by attorney generals turned out to be offenders. And then the platform was also riddled with some annoying bugs. As a result, Myspace’s image weakened in public.
In contrast, Facebook insisted on using real names because Zuckerberg is committed to assisting people in making genuine connections through digital technology. Facebook’s joint friend function was a helpful strategy, as it allows users to expand their network by creating second to third-degree relationships. Furthermore, users’ experiences were considerably more anchored and customized, and such an initiative turned out to be Facebook’s X-factor feature.
Eventually, News Corp transformed Myspace into a proper corporate organization that would adhere to protocols and procedures. The focus shifted from ideas and execution towards registering quarterly profits, yearly profits, and other corporate policies. Even if the team had new ideas, discussing and approving even simple additional features would take time. Whereas Facebook developers could add, change, modify, and delete features overnight and make significant changes to the website without lengthy approval processes.
Finally, Myspace’s rigid corporate structure and third-party integration became the golden recipe for Facebook. For Amazon, Google, and Apple, too, this technique was a game-changer. Facebook created an API in 2006 that provided developers unparalleled access to user data, ranging from images and profile information to friend lists and events. Developers used this information to generate everything from personalized quizzes to Facebook games. Spotify, for example, used Facebook’s API, allowing users to share music right within the Spotify app, much like Candy Crush used Facebook for instant login. As a result, Facebook provided developers with the flexibility to use their technology to create their own products and services.
One significant insight is that developing new approaches from concept to execution should not take too long. This leads to a tactical waste of time. For instance, Priya.Sydney provides GTM Marketing strategies that assist you in developing a unique and strategic plan for your company that revives your existing processes and provides refreshed avenues for growth. Even if you are not the industry’s first mover, the approach is still beneficial as it saves you money, time and effort when you learn from past drawbacks.
Priya.Sydney designs Digital Media Marketing Strategy that supports resolving your most complex social media issues through comprehensive analytics and continued agility.