If you looked at most smartphones, the odds of finding Facebook, Twitter or Instagram downloaded would be very high. These social channels, along with many others, have become a normal part of our lives as well as our social interaction with others. However, buried six feet under the ground lies plenty of social media that did not stand the test of time. Some we were close with, others we might not even remember. This Halloween, watch out for these ghosts of channels past, hidden in the haunted graveyard of social media.
MySpace comes to mind for many millennials, as it was one of the first social channels that allowed people to share their status and pictures with friends. In fact, it was the most visited website in the United States in 2006. Shortly after, in 2008, Facebook began to reign supreme and unexpectedly overtook MySpace simply by being more user-friendly and having a cleaner interface. MySpace was laid to rest in the social media graveyard around 2010, though you can still find its descendant Myspace (now with a lowercase ‘s’) online.
Just like the Mayans predicted, life came to an end for DailyBooth in 2012. The daily photo-blogging site had a huge following in its first year but was quickly overtaken after Instagram’s launch in 2010. Instagram was simple, allowing users to communicate through photos on their own time and style. DailyBooth, however, had a more restrictive demographic of teenagers and the commitment of posting every day led to its demise.
In an attempt to challenge the many social networks rising in the late 2000s and early 2010s, Google released Google+, another classic photo-and-status sharing platform. This channel allowed users to create ‘Circles’ of friends and family members or join interest-based groups. While it seemed like it had a shot to become one of the ‘top-dogs’ of social media, Google+ was put out of its misery on April 2, 2019.
Most everyone has heard of TikTok today, whether they loathe the trendy video-sharing platform or enjoy the many different genres of content. Creating funny, educational, spooky or talent-highlighting videos is not unique to TikTok, as many can remember the age of Vine. Vine was extremely similar, as people could also share short clips to their pages, but this platform peacefully passed on after it was sold to Twitter and advertisers struggled to make money on it. It was buried in the social media graveyard in October of 2016.
Teenagers and young adults have always enjoyed the premise of anonymous posting, perhaps since The CW network’s Gossip Girl television series became a hit sensation. However, user-anonymity comes with many challenges and many channels have sought to overcome issues of bullying, threats and more. Tbh.com had the right idea— users could only respond to prompts already created by the site, such as “Who has the best smile?” or “Who is your best friend and why?”. Unfortunately, their audience preferred similar platforms like Whisper, where they could unleash their unadulterated opinions. After a short but meaningful life, Tbh.com died at the age of one.
So, this October 31st, keep an eye out for any ghosts, ghouls and especially social media zombies. Anonymous-posting channel Yik Yak died in 2017, but now roams the web once again in 2021. What other platforms might rise from the social media graveyard?