Evacuating MySpace

MySpace profile pic from 2009

Ah, MySpace! Would those of you still using MySpace please stand up?

Nobody? But you do remember it? You’ve heard of it? Perhaps you’ve simply all but forgotten about MySpace once more flashy toys like YouTube and Facebook showed up?

Or have you forgotten your password and haven’t been able to recover it because you’ve also lost that disposable Hotmail account you signed up with? Bummer.

Well, it’s been a while since it was the poster child of the burgeoning social media scene — back when we all had a friend named Tom Anderson and there was tons of new and free music to be discovered there. MySpace was the cool place to hang out at.

Myspace launched in [2003] and was acquired by News Corporation [two years later] for $580 million. From 2005 to 2008, Myspace was the largest social networking site in the world. In June 2006, it surpassed Google as the most-visited site in the United States.

Myspace was also huge for the music scene and functioned as a self-serving advertising platform for those seeking publicity.
The Bean Team

MySpace was instrumental in furthering the careers of acts such as Arctic Monkeys, Lana Del Rey (as “Sparkle Jump Rope Queen”), Lily Allen, and My Chemical Romance. Needless to say, even established artists had to have a presence there.

In 2007 I also signed up — for “research purposes”. The site was useful to see what artists and musicians had really been up to in the past or to contact them. Bolstered by constant changes of ownership, though, it soon enough fell into disuse as BandCamp, Facebook, SoundCloud and YouTube offered superior features for music artists.

After 2008, Myspace began to dwindle. At its peak, the website was valued at $12 billion but sold for just $35 million in 2011.

MySpace became a laughing stock. A site redesign in around 2012 didn’t help.

MySpace connections before closing account

Come to think of it, MySpace would’ve probably dropped off the radar completely hadn’t they accidentally deleted some 53 million songs and images uploaded by artists between 2003 and 2015 during a botched server migration. The fact that this happened over a year ago and was only publicly confirmed in March 2019 speaks as much about the site’s relevance as it does about modern interest in it.

As a result, unique and unreleased recordings by people who have since died were lost forever, serving only to remind ourselves of the ephemeral nature of the “cloud”.

Yesterday I harvested a few final snippets of information and deleted my account.

I suggest you do the same.

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