How did some of the social media networks fade away?

It was about 15 years ago when I saw a friend chatting on her computer. I was so curious to know what she was doing. She explained it was called Orkut, and showed me all the friends with whom she could chat with or see pictures of at once. Somehow, even though I was working as a marketer at that time, I didn’t think that this new trend, social media, would replace any of the traditional strategies in positioning, advertising, and public relations.
Image result for image failure
Image credit: Leader Networks
Lets take a peek at their stories and what pushed them out!
Friendster was launched in 2002 and lasted for thirteen years with about 100 million subscribers at its peak. It was the first platform that provided an environment for its users to share their pictures and thoughts with their contacts. It also allowed for public announcements of events and news.
This network was designed on becoming connected to your friends’ friends; they assumed this would be an ideal way to expand their acquaintance network. Based on a study done by Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, loose connections and interactions among people who knew each other only through a third or fourth party, as well as the  time consuming and poorly designed navigating system, were the issues that killed this network.

Photo credit: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

Open Diary was launched in 2004 and outed in 2014. It started as a blogging website for journalists and bloggers to write about any subject where the authors were also able to change the privacy setting of their posts to be private or public. This website disappeared when they started asking their subscribers to pay as compensation for their losses after two security glitches.
Eons was another site founded in 2006 and shuttered in 2012, with about 800.000 subscribers, which was targeting senior citizens. Although they dropped the age restriction to 40 year old from 50, they never reached their desired volume.
Ello was founded as an alternative to Facebook by a few friends in California in 2014. They were tired of the advertising of said network and were bored of seeing the same recycled posts everyone shared. How to join? You were needed to be invited, therefore no boring people allowed, and the creators could monitor which company they actually allowed in. The promise was no advertisement, ever (which made the few businesses to make in struggle to create a new way to advertise without advertising). Too many people flocked to the site while it was still in Beta mode, which caused the creators to have queues of people waiting months to be accepted in to join (and losing interest) only to get in while the site was still barely functioning. What was heralded as the network to finally take down Facebook flopped. While it is still functioning with over a million users, who even remembers it?
Image result for image of learning
Image credit: KSDK
What’s for us to take away?

As an entrepreneur, sometimes we get too passionate about our new discovery, and we introduce it to the world before it’s ready, or before we are ready. Right there, we forget about  the proper positioning, advertising, our competitors, etc…The passion becomes a downfall and doesn’t let us take the suitable steps to conquer and establish ourselves correctly. I believe researching the history on any subject, and uncovering the reasons behind the successes and failures of predecessors may be the best lessons to learn. Seeking expert advice is also not to be snubbed.

As a marketer, we should know that the number of followers doesn’t guarantee the success; it’s the volume and quality of the engagement that will provide the corporations the chance to achieve the goals. Easy navigation is another component that should be factored in. Assuming every user is a pro and tech savvy can lead to a catastrophe, where the blind can’t even at least try to lead the blind. Asking subscribers/users to pay for the platform has also proven that they will eventually switch to the competitors. However, designing the advertisement opportunity for other brands may be a way to generate the money. Furthermore, overselling doesn’t sound original to anyone: stay real and be truthful!
Do you remember any other platforms?

#SM platforms failure stories, #faded away NetWorks, How to stay up on SM, Why did some networks fade away?

#sad stories of some platforms, what did go wrong with the unsuccessful platforms?




4 thoughts on “How did some of the social media networks fade away?

  1. I think your comment about success not being the number of followers, but the “volume of the engagement” is a very apt one. Though, I would also add to that, the quality of that engagement. After all, you could have a large volume of shared content, articles, videos, but if the quality is not what people are looking for, then the engagement may not necessarily go in line with volume. Of course, your comment still holds true: for success, the volume of engagement is, and always will be, very important and essential.

    • Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for your comment. I agree; I actually did add your suggestion “the quality of the engagement” to my blog.


  2. Hi,
    Great read. The title was very appropriate and it was exactly what I thought it would be. I had never heard of any of those SM sites before. I also really liked your 2 conclusions. They were different for each other and they were explained very well and they were thoughtful.

  3. Hello,
    Great research! I remembered only the Friendster. I never heard the rest of those sites. I can sense that you’re realy a shining marketer the way you presented your blog. The way you explained was very precise and clear.
    Best luck on your success!

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