MySpace recently underwent a monumental makeover move through an official public re-launch that declares its new purpose as a music-discovery service. Coinciding with this is the scrapping of the capitalized S in MySpace, officially turning it into Myspace. Old users, however, can still go into the site using their account details and enjoy its completely new look without having to sign up again. This long overdue move was indeed a breather to the seemingly boring state of social media innovation today. But it can’t be denied that there’s a lingering feeling that what we’re right smack in the middle of the end of an era.
As a tribute, here are five things I’ll be missing about the once-dominant social networking site, MySpace.
Choosing my top eight friends
Back in the day, it was really stressful to choose the top eight friends to feature in my profile. As if that wasn’t hard enough, I even had to go through the eight people and rank each of them according to their importance in my life. See, this is what people instantly see in case they decide to view my profile, so it is only imperative that my top friends be composed of people I truly love or value. Just the same, this friend list arrangement offers the same feeling of satisfaction whenever I land onto some of my contacts’ top eight.
Another thing I’d miss about the old MySpace, believe it or not, are the glitter text GIFs that fill up the space every once in a while. I’d miss the shining, shimmering, sparkling edges of text saying “Thanks for the add!” in loud colors of magenta or lime green posted on my page. I’d miss the pulsating orange backgrounds that dominated my friends’ pages repeatedly. I’d miss the animated clip arts of winged fairies, the Gothic Lolitas, and the unicorns. These little elements, although not completely unique to MySpace, provide novelty to the otherwise boring web spaces that we consumed those days. I’ll surely miss the tackiness and the kitschy appeal that they had that burned my retina and made my eyesight wither.
Creating the perfect playlist
Growing up, I was the average hipper-than-thou kid who had a business phone and my own dot com (I offered web design services to people within my community) even though I was just in high school. Along with that braggadocio was the illusion that I had great taste music; I remember filling up the “favorite music” part of my profile with something like, “I listen to music you can’t appreciate because you only know mainstream crap.” This belief stands up to this day; but nothing screams “deep and painfully cool” as my MySpace playlist can, so I’m going to miss that, big time.
Gathering as many friends as I can
It wouldn’t be called a social network if it wasn’t for the social aspect of it. Not too long ago, we would all get ourselves into the race of who could rack up the number of friends first. But with the state of social media today where everything’s already cross-platform and where everything moving in the social media landscape can be equated to dollars, the essence of adding more friends isn’t as it used to be. I don’t find it challenging anymore.
The unassuming ghost of social media past
If you had a MySpace account, it’s highly probable that you know Tom. MySpace co-founder Tom Anderson was the public face of MySpace because he was every user’s first “friend.” He built an empire out of the world’s youth market. He was the symbol of our Internet-crazed youth; he was here way before the Zuckerbergs of our present made their foray into the scene. The mystery that surrounds the whiteboard that he used as his backdrop will forever be imprinted in our minds along with the question, “Why is this guy friends with everyone?”
The MySpace facelift may be a refreshing and welcome addition to this fast-paced social media sphere; but it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth for the simple reason that it represents the younger me – and that I have to face the reality that I have to let go of it now.
Image courtesy of Marceau R, Flickr.