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MySpace does Throwback Thursday

January 16, 2015

MySpace recently used the popularity of Throwback Thursday on social media to get people back on its site. The move by the antiquated platform demonstrates that having a social media presence is important for Internet businesses.

MySpace recently used the popularity of Throwback Thursday on social media to get people back on its site. The move by the antiquated platform demonstrates that having a social media presence is important for Internet businesses.

Throwback Thursday pulls in users to MySpace 
According to UPROXX, last summer the once popular social networking site MySpace started emailing past users old photos of themselves. The emails were meant to entice these users to come back to the site. MySpace was betting that some would receive the emails and begin to use photos stored on the site for Throwback Thursday – an online trend where people post “remember when” photos on Thursdays on social media sites. 

The Wall Street Journal reported that MySpace’s gimmick worked. Users on the site reached 50.6 million in November 2014 – a 575 percent increase from November 2013. Additionally, MySpace users generated over 300 million video views in November, earning them 16th place on comScore’s Video Metrix ranking. MySpace was acquired by News Corp. almost 10 years ago for $580 million. The site was then acquired for $35 million by Internet ad company Specific Media – mainly because of name recognition.

Its not really about old pictures, its about advertising data
The reason that people suddenly felt compelled to go back to MySpace is to find old photos of themselves for Throwback Thursday. Tim Vanderhook, chief executive of Viant Inc., Specific Media’s parent company, explained that the site used to be predominantly a photo sharing platform.

“So we still see a lot of people coming back to access old photos. They may not visit every day, but they come back once a week or once a month.”

UPROXX noted that Viant plans to mine MySpace for user data for a “cross-channel marketing initiative.” Essentially, it is all about advertising data. All social networking businesses and e-commerce platforms constantly perform analytics on their user data to identify trends in order to better serve targeted advertising to their customer audiences. The recent move by MySpace is no different.

The future of MySpace might be in data 
According to The Wall Street Journal, Vanderhook believes MySpace still has a lot of room to grow – 1 billion users globally. While the chief executive acknowledged that most people have not been on MySpace for years, he believes that the company can still make a comeback – at very least provide Viant with useful customer data. Vanderhook commented on the importance of advertising data and how lucrative it can be for the company.

“We’ve seen return on investment improve by a factor of 10 or 20,” said Vanderhook, reported the news source.  “This is game-changing.”

In the end, it remains to be seen if MySpace will make a real comeback or not. As evidenced by the targeted advertising of other social media companies and Internet businesses, user data is a highly-valued commodity. Perhaps analytics will be able to blow some air into the company’s lungs once again.

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