Has anyone ever thought about the old social media platforms that once existed at a time when we were young? There was a time before Facebook that some of them existed. A lot of us will feel nostalgic despite their shortcomings.
Despite the fact that Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter have come of age, they are considered new age platforms. Their impact has made a lot of old social media platforms vanish into oblivion.
The history of social media is not so brief now. Nowadays, the decimation caused by today’s giants (like Thanos’s snap) caused a gigantic ripple in the social media universe. A lot of beloved and much admired social media platforms eventually met their demise when they were rising.
A time existed when connectivity between people online across various countries was hardly present. This era was far away from smartphones and internet connections below 512 Kbps.
Those years were indeed wonderful when the first social networks tried to connect via chat. Such an invention made it possible for a person based in Los Angeles to communicate with a person sitting in Oslo in real time. Nowadays, businesses and users have access to solutions such as an SMS gateway, email marketing, paid ads, etc.
What led people to such an era? Which platforms were pioneers in social media that paved the way for existing platforms?
Imagine a time when no one had a Facebook profile or an Instagram account, or did not have Twitter for laughing at people’s tweets. Social networks underwent a lot of changes since the early, mid and late part of the 2000s.
When the platforms had a status no one could imagine living without were just designs and blueprints; other social networks were present and were making strides. It is fascinating to remember at times how the platforms that ceased to exist contributed towards the development (and possibly improvement) of newer ones. But why did they stop working? Let us find out:
Vine ranks among the finest old social media networks that contributed towards propelling video content into the limelight. It was ahead of its time as an app that helped set the standards for the way social media and video could use each other together to not just survive but also thrive.
The short-form video app was acquired by Twitter prior to its official launch. Hence it ended up becoming one of the most downloaded free apps of 2013. It was the most popular video app of its time.
However, it did not last long sadly. It was unable to adapt as other rivals emerged and adapted (among them being Snapchat). Moreover, Twitter’s own business boomed, leading to Vine’s closure in late 2016.
Among those old social media sites that proved to be the best in its time, MySpace was created in 2003 as a hip platform for the young generation. Here, users can make a profile, join certain groups, write their own blogs, share images, music and other kinds of content. Users loved it as they found an easy way to connect with their favorite musical artists and other celebrities.
MySpace was possibly the first real time experience in streaming music for a lot of famous artists, notably Calvin Harris, Lily Allen and Arctic Monkeys among many. It was quite successful until 2009.
What happened to this booming network? MySpace added more features in itself. Unfortunately, it just could not keep up with the changing times. It neglected its primary purpose and was unable to adapt to social media’s evolving nature. Afterwards, it closed down for good.
FriendFeed was a social aggregating social media site which was launched in 2007. Created by a group of former Google employees, the platform was fundamentally using social networks to create its own network. This network focused heavily on relevance and usefulness on those websites. Then it consolidated updates on its own platform.
Facebook acquired the platform in 2009 for USD$ 15 million in cash and for USD$ 32.5 million in stock. In April 2015, it closed down FriendFeed for good.
This platform was another test of Google which did not meet a very happy ending. Google Plus’s fate turned out just like that of many other old social networks i.e. failure.
The tech giant attempted to rival Facebook by helping evolve search whilst educating people about the world of web marketing, especially in terms of authority and entities across the planet. Google Plus is Google’s failed attempt to rival Facebook.
Moreover, it wasn’t a social network at all. Maybe this is why a lot of problems arose. Google was actually focused on creating a network based on identity networks due to its plan to be identity social media service providers for a plan run by the Federal Government of the United States. It was unable to offer users something worth their time and money.
Friendster was the forerunner of both Facebook and MySpace. It is an old-school platform as it was launched in 2002. It was among the first ones that helped connect people and allowed them to chat, share videos, pictures and comments.
Despite its early successes (the platform had over 150 million users), it never adapted well to the needs of its users. Instead of focusing on connecting people together, the platform focused more on shares and file uploads.
Furthermore, it made an unsuccessful redesign and faced issues in uploading videos and slow video loading too. A few years later, Facebook and MySpace pushed it out.
These platforms were indeed innovative and helped pave the way for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat to thrive. However, when these networks could not adapt to users’ needs, they were eventually phased out or were acquired and merged in the existing networks of social media giants.
It would be wise for aspiring techpreneurs who aim to battle today’s social media giants to learn from these examples and avoid their mistakes. That way, they can be able to compete with them and launch a successful platform of their own.