Dead Social Media Sites: What Happened?
Social media, just like people and trends, come and go. Some were able to stay in the spotlight for a while, then there were some that survived until today. Yes, we’re talking about the big guys in the room: Facebook and Twitter. But for now, let’s take a look back on some of the social media sites that we used to love and find out the reason for their deaths.
Ah, yes, who would forget Friendster? Friendster was the OG social media networking site that was massively used in the Philippines. Founded in 2002 by computer programmer Jonathan Abrams, Friendster had about 8 million-plus users during its peak. One of the site’s most significant feature was the Testimonials feature, or commonly referred to as “testi” locally.
Friendster may have reached and enjoyed its peak popularity over the years since it reached the country, but 2009 was the year it had feared: Facebook, a social networking site rival, and Twitter, a micro-blogging site, began to increase its user base in the country. In 2011, Friendster relaunched as a social gaming platform and by 2015, suspended all their services citing lack of engagement in the community.
Before Facebook, MySpace used to be the largest networking site in the world with its peak years from 2005-2008. A lot of users were able to connect with popular users, such as musicians, bands, and artists, on the platform. Founded in 2003 by Chris DeWolfe, Tom Anderson, and Jon Hart, MySpace surpassed Google as the most visited website in the United States in June 2006. However, in 2008, Facebook came into the picture and overtook unique worldwide visitors and surpassed US visitors in May 2009.
Although MySpace is still up and running, there’s still a sharp decline in its user base as a result of migrating to Facebook… and really, who still uses MySpace?
I’m pretty sure all of you are familiar with Vine. Vine is pretty much what became the blueprint to incorporate video as a medium for social media. It is a mobile video sharing service that was acquired by Twitter in 2012. It allows users to record short video clips up to around six seconds long. In December 2015, Vine has 200 million active users. However, in 2013, when Instagram added its 15-second video sharing which later on expanded with additional features, Vine didn’t stand a chance. According to Vine’s former executive interview on The Verge, Instagram Video was the beginning of the end of the platform.
In October 2016, Vine officially shut down. Then fast forward to January 2020, Vine’s co-founder Dom Hofmann, has officially launched Byte, a short-form video app for iOS and Android.
Google Buzz/Google Wave
Buzz was then discontinued on December 15, 2011, to make way for Google+.
Google Plus (or Google+ or G+) was established to rival the more prominent social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. It was launched on June 28, 2011. While it didn’t exactly catch a huge audience locally, there were people who preferred it over Facebook. It had a quieter community, and individuals were able to create smaller, refined friend circles in their accounts. In 2018, Google announced that it was shutting down the service for consumers, citing low engagement and security risks. Then on April 2, 2019, Google+ was officially shut down for business users and consumers.
And that sums up our list. Were you able to try one of these? Share with us your experience with these social media sites in the comments below!