Creating a social network isn’t an easy game. Designing a platform that’s both technically stable yet user-friendly enough to be adored and used by millions is an exact science, and us millennials know this better than anyone. We all know Facebook wasn’t the first foray into the world of social media, with the likes of MySpace as the precursor to modern versions, but what are some of the unsuccessful social networks out there that flopped harder than a pancake off a diving board?
Before Google+, the world’s biggest tech company had a few other ventures into the social media world, the most infamous of which being Orkut. Something like something out of a Lord of the Rings novel, Orkut picked up popularity in India and Brazil (of all places), but never gained mass appeal. Maybe it’s still buzzing in Middle-earth?
MyLife had the perfect pitch – allowing long-lost acquaintances to reconnect over the internet. Uh, except their timing was horribly off. Before MyLife managed to pick up steam, Facebook launched a year later and took over the globe, leaving little interest in the inferior MyLife. The real kicker? You now have to log in to MyLife with Facebook.
Friendster.com was an interesting concept, merging the idea of a dating site and Facebook together, allowing people to become “friends” based on similar likes and interests. Although, scouring the web and befriending strangers isn’t an easy-sell and doesn’t have same allure as linking up with your old high-school mates. Friendster.com has since closed down.
Launched in 2008, Yahoo! Buzz was an attempt at getting its dwindling user base to engage and share content. Much like social-news website, Digg, Buzz allowed users to vote for stories that they read online. In April 2011, it was killed as users were not interested in the platform at all. Moreover, not many publishing sites signed up with Yahoo to make it a success. Yahoo’s strict moderation meant that selected stories always overruled the ones selected by the users. Talk about the illusion of choice…
Basically the MySpace for old people, Eons.com limited itself from a larger audience by only allowing users aged 50 and up to join. While it’s still active (although they now do allow “younger” people to join), it’s never really picked up since its launch in 2006, making Eons a social media dinosaur in its own right.
And if you know of any other social networks that have fallen off the map? Let us know by commenting below and tweeting us @MenStuffZA!