Throwback Thursday: Pioneers of Social Media Sites

Arielle | @_ArielleHope When it comes to social media there’s a constant flow of new and intriguing platforms aiming to take over the afternoons, weekends, and all around free time of social media go-getters. Most recently, the evolution of social media has taken a head spin from computer monitor to phone. With so many apps trying to get branded as the “must-have” for your smartphone it’s hard to remember a time when social media was just a past time hobby aimed at adolescents.

all social sites

Do you remember your first social media account? For most of you Xanga, Friendster, or Myspace may ring a bell. Some may even dub them the “granddaddies” of social media networking. So what made the once oh so addictive social media sites disappear? It’s easy to say the changing generations of “cool kids” and their need to be “always on” in the social sphere plus the limitations offered by such pioneering sites caused their demise.  It’s also easy to say that these sites really have no chance of gaining popularity now that Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and a plethora of other sites reign as the new kings of the net.

However, just because Friendster and Myspace are no longer ruling the social sphere doesn’t mean they’re completely dead. Many entrepreneurs will understand the need to evolve and revamp once their competitors forge ahead in the game.  The question is how much of the change that these sites have already made is enough to keep the appeal that older millennials once saw in the early years of social media networking?

If you’ve taken a look at Friendster or Myspace recently you’ll notice how vastly different their 2.0 versions are from the originals. Thanks to Mr. Music himself, Justin Timberlake, Myspace has now rebranded itself into social music-discovery site. Think Spotify with a little Pitchfork thrown in there. Although it isn’t the social networking site it once was, it does have potential to survive the current scope of digital music sites.  Friendster, has also made the change by relaunching itself as an online gaming platform. It has gained over 115 million users since it’s relaunch in 2011.

With social media constantly changing up its game there may be a day when- gasp- Facebook and/or Twitter could be joining the likes of former social sites in social media heaven.  Although, at times, we may get annoyed at the amount of times Facebook changes its appearance and structure, it’s not hard to miss how such changes has helped its longevity.

Social media isn’t on track to slow down anytime soon. With so many new and trendy sites and apps popping up everywhere brands are constantly looking for new ways to join the “cool kids” in the social sphere. So, with that said, what are your thoughts on the future of social media? Has your company/brand ever had to relaunch or evolve since its inception?

I think we can all agree that sites like, Myspace, who were once reigning thrills in the social world have put up a good fight to stay relevant, and because of that, have earned a little more respect from the users that once roamed their sectors.