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Myspace, the Rise and Fall of an Internet Empire

Grafitti mocking Myspace users in East London
Myspace once attracted more internet traffic than Yahoo! and Google, but the website has declined significantly since its peak years between 2005 and 2008. Credit: Mark Skipper / Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0

Between 2005 and 2008, Myspace was the largest social networking site in the world. Its influence on pop culture, technology, and music was immense.

At its peak, Myspace had more monthly online visitors than Yahoo! or Google. Now, however, the social networking site is a shadow of its former self, with a greatly diminished level of traffic.

The rise and fall of Myspace is one of the most important chapters of internet and social media history. Its rapid rise and sharp decline demonstrate the unpredictability of the internet space.


The social media and networking site was founded in 2003 by several employees of the US internet marketing company eUniverse. The eUniverse team saw the potential of sites like Friendster and decided to start a social networking site of their own.

It took just ten days to get the first version of the site online. Tom Anderson was the site’s first president. Brad Greenspan, the founder of eUniverse, oversaw the project, and Chris DeWolfe was the first CEO.

Myspace benefited from eUniverse’s twenty million users and email subscribers who were directed towards the new social network. Myspace rapidly became popular among teenage and young adult audiences.

In February 2005, Mark Zuckerberg offered to sell Facebook to DeWolfe for seventy-five million dollars, but the latter rejected the offer. In 2005, Myspace was on the cusp of its meteoric rise.

Peak years of Myspace

In July 2005, Myspace was purchased by Rupert Murdoch’s multinational mass media company, News Corporation, for $580 million. Within just one year, Myspace tripled in value from its purchase price.

News Corporation saw the purchase as a way to boost traffic to their online news outlets and invest in the growing space for online advertising.

During its peak year, Myspace’s user base continued to grow at an exponential rate. In January 2006, 200,000 people were signing up to the site daily. In 2007, this number grew to 320,000 new users a day.

This growth facilitated further expansion. In 2006, the site launched localized versions in eleven countries across Europe, the Americas, and Asia. By mid-2007, Myspace was the most popular social networking site in every European country where it had a localized presence.

The year 2006 was also when Myspace celebrated the milestone of one hundred million users. This high user base proved attractive for investment and collaboration. To that end, Google signed a deal with Myspace that would guarantee the latter nine hundred million dollars over three years. In return, Google gained exclusive rights to provide web search results and sponsored links on the site.


Signs of Myspace’s decline appeared on April 19, 2008, when Facebook overtook it on the Alexa rankings. Since then, Myspace’s membership has continued to decline, and the site has never again been able to recapture the level of traffic it enjoyed during its peak years.

Myspace tried several strategies to recapture its audience with limited success. These included widescale site redesigns and a shift in focus toward music and entertainment rather than social networking. However, these attempts largely failed.

Former Myspace employees, including ex-CEO Chris DeWolfe, have blamed news corporation’s focus on near-term monetization over the user experience as one of the principal reasons for the site’s decline.

Myspace remains online today, but its user base is significantly diminished. By 2019, Myspace’s monthly visitors had dropped to seven million. That year, a technical fault caused all content uploaded before 2015 to disappear, further damaging the site’s appeal.

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