Before Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, there was MySpace – the social media platform at the pinnacle of pop culture and music. Launched in 2003, it made room for millennials on the internet, allowing them to establish a virtual identity and communicate through means other than text and calls.
Recently, the site has re-entered the public conversation as people are comparing the news that Elon Musk has offered to purchase Twitter to the downfall of MySpace.
This has left many wondering who actually owns MySpace in 2022. Let’s take a look.
What happened: A brief history of MySpace’s downfall
MySpace was founded in 2003 by Brad Greenspan, Chris DeWolfe, and Tom Anderson – tech entrepreneurs based in Beverly Hills, California. The site allowed users to create a profile from which they could share photographs, express interests, and link up with other people. By February 2004, MySpace had 5 million registered users.
It encouraged musicians to promote their work, and promoted the careers of many artists still popular today – Lily Allen, Arctic Monkeys, Calvin Harris, and Owl City among them – making it a top online destination for 2000s youth.
A cloud appeared on the horizon in February 2005, when Mark Zuckerberg offered to sell Facebook to MySpace for $75 million, which DeWolfe declined.
Then, in July 2005, MySpace was purchased by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation for $580 million, taking DeWolfe and Anderson on board.
In August 2006, the site signed an advertising deal with Google, which resulted in the site now being overrun by ads, which displeased a lot of users. Making matters worse, some of the ads promoted adult film websites, which compounded the damage to the site’s reputation.
In April 2008, Facebook overtook MySpace in its Alexa rankings, and from then on experienced a gradual decline in membership.
News Corporation put MySpace up for sale in 2011 and it was bought by record label Specific Media and Justin Timberlake, for only $35 million, less than half of Murdoch’s original investment. Timberlake’s goal was to make the site “the premier digital destination for original shows, video content, and music.”
Ultimately, it was a combination of rising competition, poor product delivery, and ongoing legal battles that caused the website’s downfall.
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Who owns MySpace in 2022?
MySpace is currently owned by Viant Technology Holding Inc. the parent company of Specific Media.
Vivant was purchased by Time Inc. in 2016 for an undisclosed amount, which was in turn purchased by Meredith Corporation in 2018 for $2.8 billion.
Chris and Tom Vanderhook, Vivant’s owners bought back the ownership of MySpace from Meredith in 2019.
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Users joke Twitter may become ‘MySpace 2.0’ after Elon Musk’s offer
Earlier this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk became Twitter’s largest shareholder by buying a whopping 9.2% stake in the company. This week, on 14 April, he went one step further when he offered to buy the company outright for $43 billion.
“Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it,” he wrote in an official offer to the SEC.
The news caught the attention of social media users who have joked that the potential sale could lead to Twitter’s downfall, mirroring MySpace’s fate when Rupert Murdoch took over.
Another added: “I see MySpace 2.0 if Elon buys Twitter. I know I would be gone.”
Someone else said: “If he does that, Twitter then becomes MySpace 2.0 and a new social media site will emerge and replace the bird app.”