What Happened to Myspace (and Is It Even Still Around)?

If you spent time on the internet in the early-to-mid-2000s, you've probably asked yourself at least once, what ever happened to Myspace? The site was really one of the world's introductions to social media, before anyone even called it that.

We do a deep dive on the iconic social platform on PureWow's nostalgic pop culture podcast, 'What Ever Happened To…?'—where we come together to relive pop culture history and uncover what became of the celebrities and trends that defined our adolescence.

Myspace peaked around 2008—but then, it died. So, what happened? Well, a lot of factors pushed Myspace off the front page of the internet: rising competition, a buggy website, an annoying user experience, heavy spending and legal battles. Keep reading (and check out the episode below) for more.

The Rise of Myspace

Myspace was founded in 2003 by three guys: Brad Greenspan, Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson. (You remember him—your first friend, Tom!)

Chris used to run a marketing agency called ResponseBase, which he sold to a company called eUniverse where he met Brad and Tom. Around that time, Friendster, the true predecessor of “social networking” was sweeping the internet. The staff at eUniverse saw the potential, so they created their own. eUniverse changed its name to Intermix Media, and then, they were acquired by News Corp for $580 million.

So, what was Myspace, exactly? Well, your profile page was like an expression of your total personality. People chatted on forums, listened to music, published emo blog posts and even dressed it all up in a sparkly “layout” to really announce themselves to the internet. Don’t even get us started on the friendships destroyed over not being in someone’s “Top 8.”

Within a year, over 5 million people signed up for Myspace. And by 2006, 90 million signed up—surpassing Google and Yahoo as the most visited website in the U.S.

In August of that year, the unit of News Corp that housed Myspace made a $900 million advertising deal with Google. Then, in June 2007, they launched Myspace TV to compete with YouTube. But despite their rapid growth and success, there was a dark side to Myspace that couldn’t be ignored. 

What caused the downfall of Myspace?

Safety measures in these early days of the internet were still being developed, and thousands of registered sex offenders were found to be on the platform. Lawsuits were filed all over the country, both by and against Myspace. Parents wanted their kids off the site, and Myspace’s image was forever tarnished.

Then in 2008, the final blow—an up-and-coming site called Facebook opened membership up to the public (before that, it was only for college students). Unlike Myspace, Facebook had a clean design, was easy to use and was free of crappy-looking ads that would crowd out all that beautiful blog poetry. 

Within a matter of months, Facebook took Myspace’s title as the biggest social network in the world. In Facebook’s early years, Myspace actually had the opportunity to buy Facebook for $75 million, but they turned Mark Zuckerberg down. Whoops!

As time went on, Myspace made some attempts to turn things around—like making some leadership and staffing changes—and launching Myspace Music, but that was a flop. Revenue kept spiraling, Twitter started taking over, and Myspace just wasn’t the cool new thing anymore.

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Remember those rumors about Justin Timberlake buying Myspace? Well, they’re true. In 2011, Specific Media and Justin Timberlake bought Myspace from News Corp for $35 million. They got to work on rebranding the site and narrowed in on the music users, rather than trying to compete with other popular platforms for social interaction.

In 2013, Myspace relaunched with the goal of becoming a destination for discovering and sharing new music, watching videos and having fans and artists interact. Justin even dropped a new single  “Suit & Tie” to coincide with it. Their vision didn’t really pan out though, as it never blew up.

Then, in 2016, Specific Media was acquired by Time, Inc. Not long after, news broke that there was a huge hack that compromised over 400 million Myspace passwords. Time, Inc. was then bought by Meredith Corporation in 2018, which sold off its stakes in Myspace the next year.

In 2019, they took another major hit. It was announced that Myspace lost 12 years worth of content in a server migration gone wrong. So that meant any songs, photos and videos uploaded to the site between 2003-2015 were straight up deleted. Yikes.

Is Myspace even still a thing?

Believe it or not, Myspace is still around. It’s still technically a social network with a focus on music, but they also publish news and lifestyle articles.

So, that’s what ever happened to Myspace.

Want more nostalgia? Tune in to 'What Ever Happened To...?' on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Don’t forget to send your "What Ever Happened To's" to—or just comment on one of our TikToks @WhatEverHappenedToPod.