Throwback: Classic Social Media Sites and Apps

There was a time when social media was just a developing platform in the quickly growing internet industry. Messaging was crudely designed, connecting with others took more time, and features were lacking compared to Facebook and Twitter.


Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all these other popular social media platforms may be the current leading sites and applications around the world. But these popular sites probably retain a few different features from these old networking platforms and applications.


The following social media sites and apps may be defunct or inactive, but their features, techniques, and ideas have all contributed to social media’s growing platforms.





 Before Facebook became the phenomenon it is today, Myspace was the reigning social media platform. Founded on August 1, 2003, Myspace (or myspace) is a social networking website providing personalised profiles, photos, and videos all through a user-controlled network of friends and relatives.


Myspace was the globe’s largest social networking platform from 2005 to 2009. The website acted like Facebook’s prototype; it provided most features Facebook offered although in a more skeletal manner. For its time, MySpace was the innovator in providing a network of friends and families in the most user-friendly way.


The problem with Myspace was its stagnant proposition through the years. Unlike Facebook, Myspace never evolved into a huge network of endless possibilities. They remained the same throughout the years, until Facebook eventually became the leading social networking site starting 2009.


Despite their faults and mishaps, Myspace proved to be influential in pop culture and music. In 2005, Myspace launched their own record label, MySpace Records, that lasted from 2005 to 2016. This shed popularity for musicians and bands like Lily Allen, Owl City, Sean Kingston, Echobelly, Ice Nine Kills, and Arctic Monkeys.


They were a signal of triumph for the early days of social media. But like all good things, did Myspace come to an end? Not quite. Despite their inactivity in recent years, Myspace is still alive and well. They work as a music, video, and entertainment news website with a steady number of global visitors.




One of the original social networking sites, Friendster was a website based in Malaysia. This classic social networking site was very popular in Asia.

Friendster was one of the pioneer social networking sites back then. They allowed full user-controlled personalised profiles, with the feature to connect with other contacts. Just like modern social networking sites, Friendster allowed users to share music, videos, and messages with other contacts through profiles. The site offered users to establish a network of friends and contacts in a more compact manner.


According to Alexa Internet, Inc., an American web traffic analysis company, Friendster was most popular among these 10 countries: Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, South Korea, and Sudan.


In June 2011, Friendster relaunched into a social gaming platform. Most of their visitors by this time were countries from Asia, mainly Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore. Unfortunately, Friendster wasn’t able to survive until June 14, 2015, due to “the evolving landscape” of today’s industry. Their services were halted following a lack of online presence from the community and its users. As of June 30, 2018 the company closed down for good.




Among the latest of the entries here in our list is Vine, an online video platform allowing users to share six-second video clips. Founded in June 2012 and bought by Twitter in October of the same year, Vine was finally launched on January 24, 2013 and remained active until January 17, 2017.


Vine was a huge trend when it first released. Six-second videos were largely spreading, all with different brands of humour from each user. The services provided by Vine was perfect for comedians trying to promote themselves with little to no resources at all. All you needed was a phone and a sense of humour, and you’re all set.


The short-lived life of Vine can be pointed to the non-existent monetary opportunities the application lacks for users. Before Vine’s downfall, you could see different users switching to YouTube instead. Social media stars like Logan Paul, Amanda Cerny, and Juanpa Zurita, all gained a massive following in Vine before heading over to YouTube for better profit and exposure.


Promotion through short videos seemed like a good idea at the time, but platforms like YouTube already offered much more possibilities with profit. Vine eventually went downhill after not being able to grasp the financial opportunities for its users.




Formerly known as Formspring, this question-and-answer based networking service launched on November 1, 2009 and discontinued its services on May 15, 2013.

Spring.me popularised the “Ask Me” kinds of forms, as other sites like Tumblr, ASKfm, and MyYearbook soon followed the trend. Users would post their questions online, and others would answer. It’s a basic forum-based service that is utilised in most modern social networking platforms.


However, not all is well with this question-and-answer based style of social network. Since the outset of Spring.me, cyberbullying was accessible among teenagers. Users could anonymously answer questions, leaving the forum-based site open for harassment. Sites like spring.me and ASKfm have been linked to many suicides caused by harassment and cyberbullying.


While Spring.me is technically defunct, its management is now under social discovery platform Twoo. Whether the original content from Spring.me exists under Twoo’s management is undisclosed.