‘Throwback Thursday’ is putting MySpace back on the map

Remember MySpace? It turns out a lot of people do. At least 50 million of them. The company’s CEO revealed to the Wall Street Journal this week that the site still receives at least 50 million unique monthly views, as well as 300 million video views in November alone.

While MySpace was one of the original successful social networking sites of the aughts, its popularity declined in recent years with the rise of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. News Corp acquired the MySpace for $580 million almost a decade ago, according to WSJ, before selling it to the Internet ad company Specific Media for only $35 million a little over three years ago.

Tim Vanderhook, the CEO of Specific Media’s parent company, Viant Inc., boasts that while no one was paying attention, MySpace built a “vibrant audience” of 17 to 25-year-olds, particularly focused on music and entertainment fans.

The 50.6 million unique visitors MySpace had in November represents a massive 575 percent increase over the previous year and was not driven by music fans alone. The social media site additionally sees a large number of return visitors from the site’s mid-2000s peak, especially on Thursday. Apparently the popular “Throwback Thursday” ritual, where users re-post retro pictures of themselves across social media, is contributing to MySpace’s new-found popularity.

“MySpace was an early photo-sharing platform,” Vanderhook told WSJ. “So we still see a lot of people coming back to access old photos. They may not visit every day but they come back once a week or once a month.”

To be sure, MySpace’s 50 million monthly viewers is a drop in the bucket compared to the numbers generated by the social media juggernauts. Facebook, for example, claims 864 million active users daily, according to Mashable. Still, it demonstrates that in a digital age where nothing online really disappears, a company can be down, but never truly out.

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