Facebook has grown to a social networking giant serving over 900 million users everyday. But Facebook wasn’t the first to introduce the world to online social networking, so why is it the only one standing?
For some other social networking platforms of the past it was server instability or lack of financial support. Other former popular networks couldn’t compete with Facebook simply because of timing. Today, the web is much stronger, faster and crowded than it ever has been before. The Internet is used to communicate, earn revenue, entertain and much, much more. Take a look at these past social networking sites that existed before Facebook.
AOL – For computer users in the ‘90s, the Internet was based around AOL. There were chat rooms and AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) that created the center for online activity. The company controlled Netscape (the dominant desktop browser), WinAmp (the leading music and MP3 streaming service) and was the king of Web 1.0. Then the company made a merger disaster after acquiring Time Warner and the fallout from the merger prevented AOL from keeping its eye on the evolving nature of technology. Today, the company is known as a media and advertising company and owner of properties like The Huffinton Post.
Friendster – This site was once considered the top online social network. It allowed users to connect, communicate and share online content with other members. During it’s peak in 2003, Google offered founder Jonathan Abrams $30 million which Abrams declined in favor of KLeiner, Perkings, Caufield and Byers and Benchmark Capitol. The decline is considered one of the biggest blunders in the history of Silicon Valley. The site was eclipsed by Myspace in 2004 and shifted in 2011 to a social gaming site in Asia. Today, more than 90% of new users are based in Asia, and monthly users have increased by 50%.
MySpace – In 2003, Myspace was created and soon transformed into one of the biggest social networking sites of the 2000s. MySpace bought NewsCorp and peaked in 2007 when it was considered the leading social networking site. The site’s downfall began in 2008, when Facebook eventually caught up and overtook the Alexa ratings. The site also struggled with a decline in ad revenue, failure to innovate and Facebook’s expansive membership to users under 18. MySpace was bought by advertising network Specific Media, and Justin Timberlake took ownership stake. Recently, MySpace TV was introduced and the site gained a million new followers.