Okay, it’s nearly a year since we published our extraordinarily popular article (whose popularity can be likened to staring at a car crash): So What “Really” Happened to … MySpace.
Let’s be fair, at the time it was published, we didn’t have anything overly optimistic to say about the prospects for the “Once-Was’” Timberlake-led, re-launch. However, we also considered that MySpace, “The Granddaddy of all Social Media,” had at least earned the right for us to exercise a bit of patience. It would be far too disrespectful to participate in the public stoning so early on. After all, at the time, they had only re-branded a few months back. They may have had an excellent plan.
So, such patience was granted. “… No reason to pen New MySpace’s obituary quite yet,” we offered.
It might be a bit of a stretch to say that we kept a close eye on the one-time social media giant. But, we did stay committed to affording them their well-deserved chance. It would also be noteworthy to point out that, in that time, not a single one of us (Newtek content teamers) felt compelled to sign in – at all. In fact, we even forgot to joke about not signing in.
Could it have been the haunting memories of gaudy, glittery “personal page” wallpaper, or the fear of Megadeath tunes blaring mid-riff into our eardrums – simply by clicking the site of an old friend? When it comes down to it, the real reason that is inhibiting the “used-to” group from signing in to MySpace these days is this:
Some will point out that it is more “niche” now – that MySpace is geared to the musically minded. But we all know musically minded people. Some of us are musically minded people, ourselves. The truth is, the niche argument seems more like a failed branding attempt; and day by day, it becomes more obvious that the real reason MySpace did not come storming back is because we already have what we need.
Today’s social media-ites seem to be happy with the stuff we use, and always have our ears to the railroad track to try something new. MySpace was already old when it re-branded, and even donning a sporty new outfit, or a new mantra – even then – it is still old. Social media audiences have evolved. Period.
Did any of you see the animated movie Wall-E? The one about the lone, tiny robot left behind to clean up the endless garbage heaps on Earth? Is not difficult to see MySpace in a situation analogous to that – one with a few data-mining “spiders” sorting through the ever-depreciating debris of what was once the world’s grandest social media world.
Look, this isn’t about delighting in the failings of others – particularly the pioneers of MySpace who really did serve to change the world. Tom& Co., we mean no disrespect.
And for those who want proof and statistics before writing MySpace off – that is certainly understandable. No one really has ill will toward the Company. It would be nice if their re-branding became an epic success story. But all things considered, we suggest you do not waste your time building an argument in such regard.
In short, MySpace is dead … Again. And this time, it’s not going to get back up. Ever.
What’s the lesson here? If you are going to re-brand or even evolve, do so while you are on top. Once you are on the decline, or past it, it might be better to leave well enough alone.