MySpace wasn’t the first social networking site to hit the Internet. For many, however, it was their first – and for a while, it was the largest such service in the world. Ultimately, MySpace slipped into irrelevance as services like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram took the reins and ran with it. Now more than 18 years later, hundreds of thousands of people have signed up for a new social network that’s essentially a clone of the OG.
SpaceHey launched in November 2020 as a nostalgia project. The retro social network, which claims no direct affiliation to MySpace, says it is focused on privacy and customization. There are no algorithms and no personalized ads. Feeds on the site are presented in chronological order with “no suggested content begging for your attention.” Its creator, a 19-year-old developer from Germany who simply goes by An, will no doubt draw comparisons to MySpace co-founder “Tom.”
Is nostalgia alone enough to get a project like this off the ground? Perhaps. According SpaceHey’s FAQ, they’ve managed to attract over 370,000 members – the majority of which have come in just the past 30 days as news of the site makes the rounds on rival social networks.
The true test for the site will be over the long haul, however. Will SpaceHey be able to keep users’ attention in a world filled with arguably more compelling social networks? In other words, once the nostalgia wears off, will users still be engaged? If so, can it avoid the same pitfalls that MySpace faced in its heyday? Furthermore, will there be any legal hurdles involved in blatantly copying MySpace’s original design and functionality?