Myspace Timeline

Headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA, MySpace reached the height of popularity in June of 2006, with its 100 millionth account created in August of the same year.

System Specifcations

  • Bandwidth (Why Medium?): Much like Facebook, MySpace receives a steady flow of heavy traffic but the information it sends back is relatively light in content. The bandwidth will mostly be used to display pictures and links to videos, some embedded animations and graphics, and personal information.
  • CPU (Why Low?): MySpace is a moderately static site and doesn’t require too much CPU power to display information or to power the website. Again, like Facebook, the CPU powers the search feature and indexes.
  • Disk (Why High?): A high amount of personal information, applications, mixed media files, and features need to be stored on MySpace servers requiring a more than ample amount of disk space to store this data.
  • RAM (Why High?): In order to access this information quickly, MySpace implements a large amount of RAM to make searching for people and reading their information quick and seamless.
  • Scalability (Why Medium?): MySpace has an efficient server architecture using only a fair amount of resources which makes those resources go a long way. It doesn’t provide the largest amount of scalability but a good amount. MySpace traffic has been dwindling and the need for increased scalability is not requisite.

Overview

Headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA, MySpace reached the height of popularity in June of 2006, with its 100 millionth account created in August of the same year. Although the social networking site was eventually overtaken by its competitor Facebook in 2008, it still enjoys above 40 million unique visitors every month.

History

MySpace was created by several eUniverse employees who took their favorite features of the networking site Friendster and merged them into something new. Bypassing the typical startup issues that bog down similar sites, the MySpace team launched the site in August of 2003, complete with an established financial and technical infrastructure, including bandwidth and server capacity. Key players involved in the creation of MySpace were Brad Greenspan, CEO of eUniverse, Chris DeWolfe, initial CEO of MySpace, Josh Berman, and Tom Anderson.

eUniverse used its clout to push MySpace to its 20 million existing users, which propelled the fledgling site to the top of the social networking ladder. Tech expert Toan Nguyen was also brought on board to stabilize the MySpace platform.

Until late 2007, early 2008, MySpace was considered to be the leader in social networking, consistently beating out competitor Facebook in terms of traffic. Currently, however, the site is ranked 37th while Facebook is sitting comfortably as the 2nd most visited site on the web.

After MySpace was acquired by Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch in 2005, MySpace officially embraced the music scene by starting its own record label, My Space Records. Singers Lily Allen and Sean Kingston were discovered through MySpace, in addition to as many as 8 million previously unknown bands and artists.

Features

A number of factors contributed to Facebook’s rise in popularity, and one of them was the addition of new features to attract more users. In an attempt to keep pace with Facebook’s successful new angle, MySpace also began to overhaul its design to include such features as status updates, applications, and subscriptions. It also modeled an online music store similar to iTunes and Rhapsody, and included the ability create playlists. Changes also lead them to the decision to throw out classic features like the artist directory. More recent changes have included new security measures, like user-administrated content blocking, and a recommendation engine to suggest games, music, and videos to new users based on their search habits. Upcoming plans include the release of mobile macro applications for gamers.

On top of making changes to the color scheme (also an attempt to mimic Facebook), and simplifying the navigation bar, MySpace also made major modifications to the home page to make room for the MySpace Stream. The launch of profile 3.0 allows users more creative freedom, including simpler template creation that doesn’t require the use of custom HTML or CSS, and the ability to upload photos and adopt personalized background images.

In continued effort to remind others that MySpace is still an active social forum, users have also been enabled to integrate their activity on MySpace onto their Twitter and Facebook accounts. The move is indicative of MySpace’s intentions to reestablish its image as a music-oriented site as opposed to a general social networking site. It is soon to release a beta version of a complete new site design towards the end of November 2010.

MySpace has been a premier venue for aspiring and up-and-coming artists since its inception. Musician profiles in the MySpace Music section allow users to upload their own music to exhibit in MP3 format. There is even the option for unsigned musicians to post and sell their music using SNOCAP.

MySpace set up a developer platform on February 5, 2008, which would allow users and developers to write applications on MySpace to share with other users. The Open Social API, created by Google in 2007 as a universal tool for social networks, is the basis of the MySpace Developer Platform (MDP). One example of a MySpace app gone mainstream is Mafia Wars, which is popular on Facebook as well. March 5, 2008 marked the release of the first public beta of the MySpace Apps, which was released with around 1,000 applications.

System

Dan Farino, Chief Systems Architect at MySpace, indicated at QCon London 2008 that MySpace’s data flow was 100 gigabits of data per second, of which 10 gigabits was HTML content and the remainder was media, such as videos and pictures.

At the time, server infrastructure consisted of over 4,500 web servers (running Windows Server 2003, IIS 6.0, ASP.NET and .Net Framework 3.5) over 1,200 cache servers (running 64-bit Windows Server 2003), and over 500 database servers (running 64-bit Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2005), as well as a custom distributed file system which ran on Gentoo Linux.

As of 2009, however, MySpace has started migrating from HDD to SSD technology in some of their servers, cashing in on savings in both space and power.

Sources

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Arrington, Michael. “MySpace to Sell Music Through Snocap.” TechCrunch. http://techcrunch.com/2006/09/02/myspace-gets-into-music-biz/ (accessed November 7, 2010).

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“Let me see my app!” MySpace. http://developer.myspace.com/Community/blogs/devteam/archive/2008/02/05/let-me-see-my-app.aspx (accessed November 7, 2010).

“MySpace adds new tools after revamp.” New Statesman. http://www.newstatesman.com/digital/2010/03/site-myspace-users-revamp (accessed November 6, 2010).

Parr, Ben. “MySpace Launches a Revamped User Homepage.” Mashable. http://mashable.com/2010/08/11/new-myspace-homepage/ (accessed November 6, 2010).

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