Shortly before the rise of MySpace was the downturn of Friendster. It was one of the first “big” social networks, and had all the people signing up. What finally killed it (
or at least severly hobbled it) was the fact that the servers got overwhelmed and pages were taking up to 2 or 3 minutes to load. (One time I went to get a drink of water while my page loaded…with time to spare).
Friendster today is a fantastic site, really. Much better looking than MySpace, much more functional, much easier to use. But of course, everyone’s now on MySpace.
Funny thing is, MySpace continues to be purposely difficult to use (to increase page views and thus ad revenue, I assume), and the site is responding like a dead mule. With 100+ million profiles and thousands upon thousands of page views every day, keeping the site peppy is no easy task. But mark my words, if MySpace doesn’t get those response times down and fast, we’ll be seeing a mass exodus to any number of other social networking sites. (Here’s a list of 33 social networking sites as potentials locations…)