Myspace is back — or at least, an homage to its essence is.
During the pandemic, German-born 18-year-old An used some of his newfound time to create a social media platform called SpaceHey, built in the likeness of mid-aughts social network Myspace. Since launching on Nov. 29, 2020, the platform has accrued over 55,000 global users.
“I never came to use Myspace,” An told Vice. “I was only a few years old when Myspace was popular.”
Still, he was inspired by its reputation as a less toxic space for online socializing than the platforms people currently use, and so he found archived webpages and coded a combination tribute and re-creation of the former leading social network. The result is complete with customizable profiles, bulletins, and the ability to IM and use both HTML and CSS — all in a layout that mimics Myspace.
“[Thanks] to older friends and the internet, I heard a lot about it. I came to the conclusion that you can’t find something like this nowadays, where everyone can be this creative,” he said.
The website does not currently have an app or plans for one, yet users are flocking to SpaceHey, not for cutting-edge innovation, but for the nostalgia it offers along with a portal to a less virulent internet age.
“I was in high school when it started and it was a way for me to escape the bullying I endured as a teenager. I spent all my lunches in the library on Myspace,” new user Kelly Chaos, who once had more than 800,000 Myspace friends, told Vice. “Myspace was a huge part of my life between 2004 and 2010.”
In comparison to Facebook and the other current social media behemoths, users including Chaos say SpaceHey is far more friendly and welcoming — a throwback feeling of community that was far more prevalent in an earlier web era.
“Most social media platforms these days are incredibly toxic,” Chaos said. “In the three weeks I’ve been on SpaceHey I’ve experienced more love and support from people than I have in the last five years on all of my social media platforms combined. It’s definitely refreshing.”