Social Media platforms that died an unfortunate death
13 Dec, 2018
Society and social media go together like salt and pepper. So, it’s due to no fault of our own that we eat up every new social media platform that launches, often without any hesitation. But despite our dedication, history is littered with failed social platform attempts that crashed and burned as quickly as they lit up. Our Digital Business Unit Director, Lynne Krawchuk, explores the reasons behind their demise and the lessons that we can learn from their failed attempts.
Lesson: Stay relevant
When it first launched in 2003, tweens everywhere were beside themselves with the possibilities of sharing all their information on a site that allowed you to connect with other people. So, what went wrong? Even though the social media platform still exists (true story), it failed to adapt and develop enough to remain relevant. The fact that there wasn’t an instant messaging option and that you couldn’t ‘invite’ friends from your mailing list didn’t help their street cred either. Essentially it was the launch of Facebook that sent Myspace into a place of no return. The company was eventually sold – not for much – and nowadays exists more as a music platform than anything else.
Lesson: Protect yourself
iTunes Ping was a software-based, music-oriented social networking service created by Apple in 2010. Basically, it was a music recommendation and sharing tool that came preloaded on iTunes. Shortly after its launch however, the platform became inundated with spam and fake accounts, sending users flocking for safety. Those who braved the constant security breaches were left with songs you could only preview for 30 seconds and an admin-filled sharing experience that Facebook and Twitter later went on to perfect. Within two years, Ping was shut down. Fortunately for its survivors; neither Apple nor iTunes went down with that ship.
Lesson: Shift your focus
Unlike the other social platforms before it that had failed, Friendster was actually one of the first platforms that allowed people to share videos, pictures, comments and to chat. And it did pretty darn well back in its day! Its downfall was a result of not focusing on the bigger picture. Instead of focusing on social sharing and the connections between people, they concentrated solely on the media being uploaded and shared onto profiles. In 2011, they tried to reposition themselves as a social gaming site, but five years later their doors closed for good. During this time Myspace came onto the scene, ‘bettering’ what Friendster had neglected. But we all know how that one ended.
Lesson: Stick to what you know
Google+ is another social media platform that’s still around but that no one really cares about. Technically, everyone who uses a Google product becomes a Google+ member, but very few of these folks make use of the ‘social’ aspect of it. Its focus is on sharing messages, swapping images and bringing up profile heads (read: LinkedIn), so nothing really new here. The platform also totally missed the mobile train (which Facebook subsequently scooped up from under their feet), so only desktop users could benefit from it. Google+ tried too hard to be like Facebook, when in actual fact, if they had just stuck with what they were good at, we might have featured them on a more promising list.
Some were doomed from the start, while others gone too soon. No matter how great the attempt, with social media giants like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in play, there’s little chance of survival for any platforms like them. Learn from where others failed and know what media platforms work best for your brand.
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