50 million users can't be wrong - is it time we went back to Myspace?

Were we wrong to hide our Myspaces?

Myspace

Myspace, everyone's first social network and home to the worst photos of us all, is still going. Not only that, but... it's growing. Tom's army is massing anew.

Sure, it's growing from a base much smaller than it had before Facebook and a series of unfortunate takeovers blew it all to pieces amid a nightmarish "brand" and "content" explosion, but still.

Stats show that the site's US readership and regular loginship grew to around 50 million monthly unique users late last year, as a mixture of young and old internet users returned to the site or, shockingly, registered to use it for the first time, like it's some sort of exciting new internet start-up rather than last millennium's social outcast.

The "old" people returning for a laugh bit we can understand. Myspace says it sees its traffic pick up on Thursdays, as people (try to) remember their passwords and log in to seek out old photos of themselves from the mid 2000s to post on other social networks, as part of the fun surrounding the Throwback Thursday hashtaggery.

But the kids? What are they doing there still? Haven't they heard that Myspace is supposed to be old, busted, embarrassing and the Status Quo of the internet?

Finder's fee

Social sites are only as active as their audience. Ask Google about that. Google+ may have the flashiest, whizziest user interface of them all, plus the might of Google shoehorning in links to it across the entire internet and tempting us to inflate its page view stats by dangling red notification icons in our faces, but... you can't force people to do what you want all of the time.

The more laid-back, "Hey, it's been, what, a decade? How the hell have you been?" approach taken by Myspace, more out of out of necessity than any tangible plan, seems to be paying off as a very-long-term strategy.

The whole concept of the site in the first place was to aid the discovery of new music, to prod you into perhaps thinking about or listening to something you wouldn't normally give a chance.

And everyone likes the feeling of thinking they've found a thing for themselves. Something you've uncovered through diligent research or just being a bit more ahead of the game than everyone else is more valuable to you than a thing you've been told to look at.

If you think you've discovered something yourself it becomes a thing you enthuse about to others. Something you want to take credit for and help become a success.

Like the bands it helped promote in the olden days, Myspace itself now seems to be building a weird sort of discovery-based image, with the people who use it doing the job of the band groupies of old -- spreading the message that it's kind of an OK place to be and coordinate the watching of YouTube clips all day from.

Good old Myspace, with its slick new interface, Ariana Grande tracks, integrated YouTube videos and seamless, one-click switching between the back catalogues of Lorde and Fleetwood Mac, is being discovered for the first time.

And like all things people find themselves, it's being shared and talked about enthusiastically. Before you know it Myspace might come back into fashion again, a bit like how rave came back for a fortnight and Tom Jones is on the telly all the time.

And as Facebook becomes as ubiquitous as a new Take That single and Twitter settles down to be the home of the dull puns of footballers and newsreaders, it's perhaps becoming slightly punk to be doing your social business through the edgy survivor Myspace.

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