By Patricia May P. Catan
THE rise of social media started in early 2000s when people slowly became obsessed with updating their profiles and hearing the latest online gossips. One thing that draws millions of people to sign up on social media is the platform’s ability to allow members to share and receive content. This online exchange along with many other reasons are what makes social media this vibrant today. But having failed to adapt to rapid developments, tech advances and changing environments, pioneering sites had to give way to new social networking sites. There’s an end to everything, and sometimes it can be quick and merciless. For instance: who would have thought these five popular social media platforms that everyone used to love are now online ruins of yesteryears?
Friendster (March 2002 – June 2015)
Friendster was ahead of its time when founded in 2002 for it was the social networking site where millions of people shared photos, videos, news, and events information. It was the holy grail of social media with savvy individuals in the early 21st century sharing and providing online and media content. Friendster then evolved into a social gaming site in 2011 when registered users increased by millions more. But its glory days didn’t last long as Friendster could not keep up with the advances of a highly competitive industry and the drastic decrease of online engagement. This resulted in the suspension of its services and eventually the closure of the company.
Yahoo Messenger (June 1999 – July 2018)
Yahoo Messenger was one of the few instant messaging clients that gained many loyal fans for its chat services that connected friends and family from all over the globe. Apart from instant messaging, file sharing, likes, unsend, group conversations, IMVironments, address-book integration, and custom status messages were the other unique features offered in its time. Yahoo Messenger was released in 1999 as one of the first chat apps of its kind. But the continuous evolution of the communications landscape challenged its existing features and was discontinued in July this year.
Multiply (December 2003 – May 2013)
Multiply added to the lineup of social media sites back in 2003 where users shared media content through their personal profiles. It started out as a social networking site but switched to e-commerce in 2012 when Multiply gained millions of unique visitors. But when Multiply didn’t make enough profit on the following year, the site had to close down its operations and soon closed as a company in 2015.
iTunes Ping (September 2010 – September 2012)
iTunes Ping was short-lived despite the promising tie-up of a social media platform and music player. It was a thing in 2010 when iTunes Ping allowed friends and musical artists alike to connect with each other and share music files. The only catch was that it only worked for Apple users, which made it useless for non-iPhone owners and also limited Ping’s user base. Hounded by spam and other issues, iTunes Ping was forced to close down by Apple in 2012.
MySpace (August 2003 – present)
While the platform isn’t exactly dead as it is still running, MySpace is just a shadow of its glory days as the largest social networking site in the world from 2005 to 2009. Founded a year after Friendster, MySpace has similar interactive features as its predecessor where it allows users to share blogs, photos, music, and videos. MySpace introduced a feature that made a significant influence on pop culture and music: it allowed a younger generation of users connect with the latest musical artists. But with forward-thinking and adaptive social media sites coming in such as Facebook and Twitter, MySpace naturally lost its audience after failing to evolve and cater to the digital needs of its evolving users, leading to its decline. From a peak of close to 76 million unique monthly visitors in 2008, it now barely attracts around seven million visits a month.