Key TakeawaysA new platform dubbed SpaceHey is based on MySpace and is slowly growing its user base. While the platform may have some popularity for its nostalgia, experts say it's not going to be the next big social network.Experts say if MySpace were to exist today, it wouldn't have been as popular as it was in the 2000s due to the current nature of social media. Unsplash / Mockup Photos
The good ole days of MySpace are attempting to make a comeback with a new platform that mimics the nostalgic social network, but experts say it won't succeed in this day and age.
SpaceHey has gotten recent attention since it was modeled after the MySpace platform, which debuted in 2003 and peaked between 2005-2008. Even if it would be nice to customize your profile and pit your friends against each other for the coveted top eight spots again, experts say nostalgia can only go so far.
"The retro aspect is going to be good for a short while, but I don't think it's going to be enough to be the next TikTok or Clubhouse," Tom Leach, co-founder and director of Hike Agency, told Ach5 in a phone interview.
SpaceHey's Take On MySpace
SpaceHey was created in November 2020, and was inspired by MySpace, so it looks exactly like the platform you remember. So far, more than 72,000 people have signed up for SpaceHey—a far cry from MySpace's peak of 100 million users and Facebook's current 2.8 billion profiles.
SpaceHey includes many of the same features as the original MySpace, such as customizable profiles—using HTML and CSS or pre-made templates—bulletins, the ability to see which friends are online, and a space to show who your top friends are.
Experts say SpaceHey's main selling point is its absence of an algorithm that dictates what users see. According to Vice, the platform's 18-year-old German creator, known as An, is taking privacy seriously with SpaceHey, and personally monitors all 72,000 people's content for hate speech or violence.
"I think what's potentially good about it is that [the moderator] is currently moderating everything himself, so that could be something that works in [SpaceHey's] favor as opposed to Facebook," Leach said during the call.
While the SpaceHey community is small right now, Leach said that as it grows in popularity, so will its issues, as is the case with all social networks.
"If SpaceHey does grow—which I'm not too sure it will—then they have to monetize it to make money," he said. "And then, it just becomes another funded social network."
MySpace In 2021?
MySpace was arguably the first and last "pure" social network—one that wasn't corrupted by the need to make money and the addition of catered ads from your personal data. But Leach said MySpace was successful because it came out at the right time, and that time is not now.
Experts say that ultimately, a MySpace wouldn't work in 2021 for many reasons.
"SpaceHey will see a lot of initial sign ups (capturing on the nostalgia) and then become littered with abandoned, half-filled-out profiles, as most people won't take the time to learn how to code to customize their profiles," Mary Brown, director of marketing and social media at Merchant Maverick, wrote to Ach5 in an email.Erik Freeland / Getty Images
Today, social media is created to be addictive to users, so they keep coming back for more, and the platforms make more money. Leach said MySpace (and therefore SpaceHey) just isn't addictive enough. While that could be refreshing to many millennials sick of Facebook's antics, it could be harder to get older generations on board.
"Can you imagine trying to get your parents on SpaceHey and teaching them how to navigate this retro theme?" Leach said.
While that might be difficult to imagine, experts say it's not too far out to say that people are craving a different type of social network experience these days.
"I believe it's the right time for a new social media platform. Many of my Facebook friends have tried to find an alternative social media platform, but there just isn't one out there that competes with Facebook," wrote Patty Malowney, a social media consultant and influencer at Badasswebgoddess.com, to Ach5 in an email. "People are looking for more than that."