It seems the new MySpace which relaunched in 2013 and attempted to rise out of the ashes of near obscurity is still grappling to stay ahead of the game. MySpace is now using email to send former members nostalgic pictures in an effort to get them to return to the site.
Emails are being sent out with one or two old MySpace pictures along with the message: “The good, the rad and the what were you thinking.” Included in the email is a link to the site that many abandoned a few years ago to engage each other on more up-and-coming social networks such as Facebook.
Co-Founded in 2003 by Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe, it was designed not so much as social media but as a music site to help fans connect with their favorite bands. The site was set up to allow musicians to post their music. Approximately three years later the site had amassed a user base of around 106 Million with about 230 thousand new users signing up every day. It soon became enormously popular among teens and the 20-something set, rendering it the most popular social networking site on the internet. Tom Anderson’s account was used to become each member’s first default friend.
In 2005 MySpace was sold to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. for 580 million. Expectations were high and it was deemed a savvy and worthy purchase. Murdoch’s original plan was to utilize advertising directed expressly at the site’s young demographic
In 2007 Murdoch unsuccessfully attempted to merge MySpace with Yahoo for a reported 12 billion. It was near the end of 2007 that Facebook began to take-off; pied-pipering away former MySpace users in massive numbers. By June 2008 an estimated value between 3.3 billion and 20 billion was placed upon MySpace in spite of the success of Facebook. Even today, MySpace has yet to go to pasture even though it is still struggling in the social media game and attempting to obtain its former users by sending them nostalgic pics from their old MySpace accounts.
By 2009 Facebook had utterly taken over the social media market. It was well ahead of MySpace, ultimately boasting 580 million users by 2011.
After rumors broke that Murdoch was looking to sell MySpace, Henry Blodget of Business Insider began to investigate the rumor and analyze the numbers. He reported MySpace was extremely taxed with shrinking revenues, loss of mojo and declining market shares. He assessed the value of MySpace was around 500 million to 1.2 billion, with the lower end numbers being far less than Murdoch had originally paid for the site and the higher numbers being only twice what he had paid for it.
In 2011 Murdoch did indeed sell the struggling site for only 35 million. The site was sold to an advertising Network, Specific Media. The Wall Street Journal issued a report stating the 35 million was well below the 100 million that Murdoch and News Corp imagined they could sell it for. The purchase was in cash and stocks.
Tom Freston, the former chief executive of Viacom noted to CNBC that he was still waiting for a thank you note from Viacom since he had been fired by the company because he failed to purchase MySpace.
Today MySpace has yet to shut down. The site was revamped in 2013 but this latest email campaign to lure former users back by sending them a link to the site and old photographs serves as an indication that things have not picked up quite enough for the once ruling social media giant.
Commentary by Janet Walters Levite