Redemption in Sight? The Forgotten Social Media Platforms that Once Ruled
Much before Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn took over, there were social media platforms that had caught the fancy of global Internet audience. Remember those blue screens spalashed all over your college computer lab? Yeah, the Orkut-age.
So, there have been platforms which have been a roaring success for years, and then were forced to fade into oblivion all of a sudden. That ‘force’ came from the new-age platforms that were bigger, better, and all the more intuitive.
We list down some of the bygone platforms that exulted in free association, but fizzled out just when the golden age of social media dawned upon us.
There are few souls on the Internet-verse who didn’t have an account on MySpace, fewer who hadn’t heard of it at all. A revolution of sorts, MySpace took Internet by storm and gave people an altogether new way to connect and communicate. It boasted of large communities centered on music as even the most introvert of folks began to make friends- so what if most of them shared a virtual bond.
And then came the greed. Around 2006, MySpace decided it wanted to earn money by putting banner ads on their site. It affected the user experience to a great degree as they slowly began to drift away from it, and towards Facebook (which was rising at a breakneck speed).
Another ‘once insanely popular platform, Orkut can be credited for making lost friends meet. An account on Orkut meant that you had access to the large groups and communities over which you could connect with your school and college friends you hadn’t heard from in years.
The communities were created by users themselves and were easy to find through the search box on Orkut. The “Scraps” made an interesting way to chat, and we didn’t really have a separate Orkut messenger back then. Everything you talk about with a friend was visible to everyone.
This openness was the key to its success, and perhaps to its doom as well. As more and more users realized they needed privacy, they bid goodbye to Orkut. Though, it continues to be a success in countries like Brazil and moderate success in India.
Hi5 has the pleasures of being referred to as one of the firsts in this realm. Hi5 came with several innovative features which caught the fancy of millions, but it also added to a lot of clutter and confusion. That apart, Hi5 was most popular in mid 2000s in places like India where teenagers started to prefer this over Yahoo Messenger.
Sharing their pictures seemed to be a prospect easier and more interesting through Hi5, which had its heart in the right place. However, the innovations died down and they failed to come up with fresh ideas, coaxing users to get tempted by what the competitors were offering.
So, we had a share of social media platform that burst onto the scene, ruled it, and then retire with a wimp. Same can’t be said about the likes of Facebook – not yet.