The Failure of Myspace

Aaron Cecchini-Butler
3 min readAug 20, 2018

I was in middle school once. And I remember, quite clearly, setting up my myspace account.

Fast forward a few months and I remember learning basic HTML to create a background of penguins sliding on their stomachs across the screen.

I also remember the constant drama attached to deciding on your top 8 friends, and, even worse, seeing yourself inexplicably demoted on a friend’s page.

I remember being of the generation that first learned (created?) the unspoken rules of looking at the pictures of someone you found attractive, and navigating what was acceptable to say while chatting late at night versus in school the next morning.

And while chatting, I remember looking up shortcuts for how to make penguin faces (I had a thing…).

To this day I still remember (“)>

In my opinion, Myspace did a great service to the world in really originating the idea of social media. However, they made a few assumptions that I believe led to their eventual downfall.

  1. Ranking friends isn’t fun — I believe that this feature led to the feeling so many of us angsty teens had while logging on. The anxiety and fear attached to your social status. An anxiety that every generation has felt, but has never been exposed to in such a blatant way. The value of your friendship ranked by friends. The possibility for that rank to drop at any second. The lack of explanation for the constantly shifting dynamics. Facebook didn’t present…



Aaron Cecchini-Butler

Senior Systems Designer at Grubhub working on Cookbook (our design system) — as well as contributing to product design work.