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CRACKING THE CODE: THE TALE OF FACEBOOK’S TRIUMPH


Facebook and Myspace

Unveiling The Pioneer: The Good Old Days

We often think about Facebook, Instagram or Twitter when we talk about a social networking platform. Still, it was not the same for people 20 years ago as then the social networking sector was dominated by one of the earliest and most influential platforms- MySpace.

MySpace was launched in 2003 to offer a virtual platform for social networking, self-expression, and discovering music. MySpace played a vital role in shaping the early landscape of online social interaction by revolutionising the way people interacted with each other through the internet. In the initial years, MySpace gained exponential growth as it was able to attract millions of users with a keen interest in creating personalised profiles, finding friends, discovering new music, and following their favourite artists. Its key defining features include customizable profiles which allow users a high degree of personalization for creating their profiles. Music integration, “Top 8 friends” etc. were among the other key features offered by MySpace.


The Inaction and demise of MySpace

Undoubtedly, MySpace was successful as a start-up gaining huge valuation from investors, large appeal from users, and rapid traction for growth. However, things changed as time passed and a competitor emerged - Facebook. By the late 2000s, Facebook’s user base skyrocketed, surpassing MySpace, which was already stagnated and declining in popularity, active users, and engagement. There were several factors leading to its downfall which include both the technical and the managerial fields. Firstly, the high degree of customization which attracted many users had a problem in itself, it turned out to be cluttered and led to an inconsistent user experience deviating from the fundamental principle of simplicity. Next, it has converged most of its focus on music, attracting and retaining a smaller user base. There were also many security and privacy concerns related to MySpace which included issues related to fake accounts and spam. Though these all were significant factors, the one main factor was the management of MySpace, which was under the control of NewsCorporation which had appointed a highly qualified team to manage MySpace which in turn led to rigidity due to the execution of strictly laid down plans instead of responding effectively to the market trends and changes.


How did Facebook create its “Space”?

 The early winner showed up to be a failure, but how did it all go off-base? After the acquisition by the media giant, NewsCorportion, MySpace was given a professional viewpoint whereas Facebook was seeking after its travel through a few college undergrads and it certainly backfired the former. While the market decided where the business ought to go for Facebook, the “professional outlook” of MySpace reflected a fallacy of modern management that some way or another accepts that MBA grads would continuously make the business better off with their industry information, but the readiness to make mistakes by eager college undergrads demonstrated to be leagues superior than making complex excel calculations and relying on numbers. Facebook was one of the first social media stages to insist on real names of accounts and people, unlike its counterpart, never bothered to take the initiative and rule out the creepiness of fake names. MySpace's initial victory was built on the preface of customisation, allowing clients to customise their profiles with background pictures, music players, and unique formats. But as Facebook got prevalent, clients started floating towards more oversimplified and easy-to-use interfacing over intemperate customisation. In January 2008, many individuals got together to announce the 30th ‘International Delete Your MySpace Account Day’, inciting others to urge freedom of their Myspace accounts and connect to Facebook instead. The cluttered advertisements on website pages may make anybody feel unpleasant and that’s precisely what MySpace did, indeed if they did not expect to, whereas Facebook advertised a clean interface and didn’t have ads that would make the page horrible. Facebook composed the script of MySpace’s downfall and uprooted MySpace from 2008 to 2013 essentially as MySpace could do nothing to heal their woes. 



Ads and cluttered myspace UI

(Image: The MySpace page cluttered with ads)


The “Meteoric” Rise of Facebook

From its humble beginnings on the Harvard campus to a tech giant with 2.1 billion daily active users, Facebook has come a long way. Defying the prominent business mantra “first mover advantage”, Facebook put up a masterclass of “late mover advantage” to shine like a star in the competitive landscape of social media networks. Earlier social media networks provided Facebook with a list of blunders to avoid. Supervised growth added drastically to the success of Facebook as the clean and robust technological infrastructure adding value to the user experience came in handy to avoid the unattractiveness of the competitors. MySpace was eating dust after 2008 and losing its major market share to Facebook, thanks to the smart engineers who worked day and night to innovate, not just for the sake of it, but for the users to experience convenience like never before and get used to it. Acquiring Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp 2 years later put Facebook in a spot where there was no looking back and the masterclass thrived further when it allowed live video streams in 2016 and these chronological events - all in the gap of 2 years intensified the way Facebook flourished. Creating a “Facebook Watch” section allowing the users to watch video content, was proven to be a significant bite of Facebook’s success meal and allowed it to thrive further. To sum things up,


Market Share of Facebook Growing

 “MySpace was defeated by White Space 

The blue took over, inserting the internet craze,

  Where others are grappling for a spot in the social palace,

  Facebook's king-sized masterclass still reigns” Authors : Md Imran and Sai Advaith Kandi

Illustrator: Japneet


Sources:

Forbes Telegraph Convince and Convert


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