Before social media began to dominate our lives with ads and algorithms, the internet was a simpler place. When Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down earlier this week, thousands took to Twitter to demand the return of sites like Myspace.
Once the world’s most popular social media platform, Myspace allowed users to customize their own profile pages, add and interact with their friends, and respond to events and concerts.
At the height of its success, it was sold to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp for $ 580 million in 2009, and was quickly overtaken by the challenger Facebook. It was eventually sold for a fraction of its value to Justin Timberlake in June 2011, with Murdoch admitting he made a “huge mistake” in buying the social network.
But perhaps the most memorable person on everyone’s Myspace, and many people’s first Internet “friend”, was Myspace Tom. Tom Anderson, the site’s founder, was automatically the first friend on user profiles and best known for a grainy profile picture of himself in a white t-shirt.
In his early years, Anderson’s life was a little less healthy. After he hacked into a bank at the age of 14, he and his friends were the subject of one of the biggest FBI raids in California history.
Fifty officers stormed the homes of Tom and his friends and seized 25 personal computers. Tom avoided being arrested and moved to Taiwan after graduating from the University of California, Berkeley.
While Myspace is still active, primarily as a music platform, Anderson’s involvement ended a long time ago. After making a fortune selling the business, Myspace Tom took early retirement at age 38, something workaholic Mark Zuckerberg would no doubt wish he had done.
Since then, Anderson has been enjoying retired life in Hawaii as a travel photographer with a net worth of $ 65 million, and is an investor in Elon Musk’s SpaceX as well as the gene editing tool. CRISPR.
His Instagram, which has 643,000 subscribers, sees him sharing snapshots of luxury trips to the Philippines, Maldives and Iceland. His biography reads: “Former 1st friend! Surfing, travel / photos, architecture-design, DogDad”.
When Facebook and Instagram broke the other day, people took to Twitter to call Myspace Tom back.
“Facebook, Instagram and [Whatsapp] are all downstairs. Do you know what never fell? My space. Tom was a true friend and we all have to respect his name, ”one Twitter user said.
“Myspace Tom really needs to capitalize here and make a comeback. Tom didn’t want to own the entire planet. He didn’t want to sell our information to advertisers and control all aspects of the media. He just wanted to make a few millions out of it. and go on vacation. Tom was our friend, “wrote another.
Myspace still receives millions of visits every month, and focuses in particular on news, music and artist profiles. It remains to be seen if he will ever return to his peak of popularity.