An ode to the fallen social platforms.
Happy Social Media Day!
Since it’s the eighth-annual, official global celebration of ‘Social Media Day’, we thought we would look back at the social channels that made a brief appearance across our computer screens, but just couldn’t quite cut it in the online world.
Some will recall Friendster as the very first platform the Gen Z’s were able to use to become connected with friends 24/7. It was founded by Jonathan Abrams, a Canadian computer programmer in 2002 and relaunched in 2011 reaching over 115 million registered users . It’s fair to say, Abrams was the trailblazer of today’s social media craze and perhaps hasn’t received the credit he deserved. Although popular in southern Asian countries, Friendster was defeated by the hugely competitive industry that was evolving at a rapid rate and so suspended services in 2015.
MySpace was next to take the podium as social media royalty, and soon became the largest social networking site in the world. It was MySpace that delivered us the ‘selfie’, although primitive, it is here Gen Z learnt exactly which side was their best side. It is said one of the reasons for the demise of MySpace, was because users were allowed to design their own pages – the problem was they did it terribly! Or perhaps there were too many fall out’s because people didn’t make their best friends top 8, but overall MySpace couldn’t compete with the easy to use, nice to look at, shiny and new Facebook that would soon take over the world… well nearly.
Bebo, the “company that dreams up ideas for fun social apps”, their words not ours, was founded in 2005 and was another victim of Facebook’s success. In its day Bebo was the most popular website for younger teens, but they eventually stopped “sharing the luv” and the site was shut down in 2013.
Habbo Hotel a social networking service like no other, allowed the user to create their own Habbo character, design hotel rooms, meet new friends, chat with other players, organize parties, look after virtual pets, create and play games and complete quests. A cross between the 1994 Theme Park PC game and MSN. Your character could chill on the beach, meet friends for a drink and chat with strangers on the street. Although an odd concept it was hitting 10 million unique visitors each month and became the world’s largest social game and online community for teenagers. However, despite being aimed at children and teens, many took advantage of the site and used it for inappropriate conversation. We will leave it there.
Although nt a typical social media platform MSN, stole many an hour ov most Gen Z’ers teenage yrs. The need 2 gt hme, turn on da comp nd load MSN was epic nd often meant chatting 2 a friend u had just left at da school gate. MSN messenger was shut down in 2013 along with popular acronyms like BRB, G2G and ROFL.
Not very old, but Vine came and went quicker than a formula one car at the Grand Prix . It was a video hosting service that allowed users to share six-second-long looping video clips. A place for creativity and funny videos, it was also the birth of GIF’s for many. Vine never really had a chance to strive, competing against social giants like YouTube and Instagram.
Although Google+ is technically still being used, we are not really sure who by. This bland and confusing platform is lacking a real purpose and offers no clear role within the social media world. Launched in 2011, Google+ was the fourth social media foray into social networking by Google, some say Google+ was built to rival Facebook, with the mission to “fix” online sharing. Perhaps Google will one day pull something out the bag, but until then there’s no doubt it will be avoided like the plague.
We will all just have to wait and see exactly what the social media Gods have in store for us in the future and hope they deliver something utterly mind-blowing that can blow Facebook out of the water but who knows what that could be?