U.S. General Douglas MacArthur famously said “old soldiers never die; they just fade away”.
You could easily say the same about social networks. They never die, they just fade into the digital background.
Case in point is Myspace, which is emailing users old photos of themselves to convince them to take another look at the network.
It’s a strange marketing campaign given most people have moved on from Myspace.
Despite having new owners and getting an overhaul, Myspace has never been able to regain its social mojo. Once the king of social networks, Myspace has been relegated to the digital basement.
Myspace is a classic example of an online property that, at one time, had product-market fit. In the early days of social media, it was among the most vibrant networks. With the rise of Facebook, however, Myspace lost its early-mover advantage.
So, what happened? Myspace seemed to lose a feel for what its users wanted – and it certainly wasn’t a busy, cluttered, ugly design and interface. Meanwhile, Facebook hooked people on the ability to connect with friends.
Perhaps Myspace’s biggest mistake was not capitalizing on its “killer app”: music. For many users, Myspace was the place to share and consume music. Unfortunately, Myspace was so big and unwieldy that it wasn’t able to evolve to effectively embrace music.
These days, the most intriguing question is why it continues to hang on. Since News Corp. dumped it, Myspace has seen new owners get excited about the idea of bringing it back to life. In theory, it’s an attractive option because Myspace still has users and name recognition.
But Myspace is also an anachronism. Its time in the spotlight has come and gone. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr has others have made Myspace irrelevant and a non-factor.
Maybe it’s time for Myspace to take a final bow, rather than hang on as a shadow of its former self. By disappearing from the scene, there would be more space for new networks to emerge.
The reality is Myspace is unlikely to exit stage left any time soon. With investors still looking for a return, Myspace will desperately look for ways to revive itself, which will include marketing gimmicks such as emailing you old photos.