MySpace didn’t survive because it didn’t evolve.
Way back in 2008, as Facebook began its ascension, you can almost imagine Ross screaming, on behalf of all MySpace fans and shareholders, “Pivot! Pivot! Piiiiivooooooottttt!” while the platform found itself wedged under the weight of progress, a la perennially-hapless Chandler Bing. But MySpace couldn’t adapt; January 30 of 2008 was even declared “International Deleter Your MySpace Account Day” in some circles (Mathis, 2008).
Social Media moved on.
According to Hubspot, the “hottest social media trends in 2023 are short-form video and live streaming”. Further, “Live audio chat rooms are the media format gaining the most steam in 2023, and 23% of marketers are planning to leverage them for the first time this year…Facebook Live Audio is the most popular platform” (Needle, 2023, paras.1 & 11).
Consumer behavior changes rapidly in the digital space, and businesses that adapt to social media trends can experience success (Needle, 2023). The ability to pivot and adapt is essential for a social media platform’s survival. MySpace wasn’t willing to do so, to its demise. In 2022, Twitter had a 17% drop YoY usage 2022, which may be due to the protest droppage caused by response to its new owner, rather than in the way the platform actually operates.
Reddit, Spoon, and and Monetization.
I visited Reddit to get a sense of what its diverse user base might be saying on the topic, one Redditor says, “People don’t need another channel to connect with friends and family with [sic]. They need something that is useful or allows them to be creative. If it has a networking element then that will grow organically if the app is useful” (winnit9, 2021). Another user suggests that “a VR based social media has a lot of runway” (samhorine, 2021).
As I read the thread, I saw the app called Spoon mentioned. Having never heard of it, I looked it up, it’s an audio-only format, their page says, “Audio-only means no cameras, no filters, and no pressure. Share the real you on Spoon.” For those, like me, who have a lot of anxiety around personal appearance, this seems like a lifesaver. It addresses a need, and a few of its values statements are, “We put the user first…We use data to make our case…We don’t fear change…We are cost conscious” (How We Work, n.d.).
That may be the key: avoiding the trap of monetizing to the point that the platform becomes a wasteland of paid advertising, oblivious to the quality of the user experience.
Inspired by the discovery of Spoon, I expanded my search for other social media platforms I might not know of. Jacinda Santora of website Influencer Marketing Hub says there are 128 social media sites that marketers should have on their radar for 2023. A scroll of this list is revelatory, there are numerous social media networks available for niche audiences. It’s unlikely that there’s much room for mega-platforms; but offering something different and niche seems an effective way to create social media sites that hold their own in a crowded field. Examples are: crowdfunding (GoFundMe), kids-only (Zigazoo), Peanut (for mothers), or Goodreads (booklovers). This was Google+’s downfall; in essence, their offerings were redundant, duplicating Facebook and Twitter. They were unable to define a specific reason to exist beyond growth for growth’s sake, and savvy users knew it and gave it a pass.
How we work. (n.d.). Spoon. https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://company.spoonradio.co/our-culture__;!!BeImMA!_Rfe46fRb26PhjbPccvBIDxOLMhT1xo5xQpwhsyWIBj3O5qUTO6QkRx3-XjiuuxJmIQHgaOMKk1LdnNUId57Ip72D4rMgQ$
Mathis, S. (2008, January 30). International delete your MySpace account day. Virginia Report. https://dcist.com/story/08/01/30/virginia-report/
Needle, F. (2023, February 6). Social media platforms marketers should watch in 2023. Hubspot. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/new-social-media
Samhorine. (2021). A VR based social media has a lot of runway. [Comment on the online forum post Is there room for any more social media platforms to take off?] Reddit. https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.reddit.com/r/socialmedia/comments/iqv70j/is_there_room_for_any_more_social_media_platforms/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf__;!!BeImMA!-bdfatTXeAwV7xjKfbOiMpmpG20Mm9-VW6Y5r9-liAeztUBLkn2rViwjikckNVLPfBAjOD8bSVslcNKTao9rGbDg0cKn$
Santora, J. (2022, December 7). 128 social media sites you need to know in 2023. Influencer Marketing Hub. https://influencermarketinghub.com/social-media-sites/
Winnit9. (2021). The question seems to come up every now and then and it’s always curious looking at the answer. [Comment on the online forum post Is there room for any more social media platforms to take off?] Reddit. https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.reddit.com/r/socialmedia/comments/iqv70j/is_there_room_for_any_more_social_media_platforms/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf__;!!BeImMA!-bdfatTXeAwV7xjKfbOiMpmpG20Mm9-VW6Y5r9-liAeztUBLkn2rViwjikckNVLPfBAjOD8bSVslcNKTao9rGbDg0cKn$