Did you pour your heart out on a MySpace blog and make hourly checks on your Friends total? Now the social network has been accused of erasing the personal histories of its dedicated members after a $20 million relaunch designed to bury its past and attract a new teenage audience.
The music-centred platform, which helped launch Lily Allen to fame and attracted 100 million users at its 2007 peak, is seeking to climb out of the social network “graveyard” after years of being a source of digital derision.
The site, lacking innovation and overtaken by Facebook, shed users and was abandoned by Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corporation had bought the company in a disastrous $580 million deal.
Backed by new investors, including singer Justin Timberlake, Myspace (after dropping the capital ‘S’) has been rebranded as a music-streaming service, with a new sleek interface, and an iPhone app for radio play and animated GIF creation.
The new Myspace has shown signs of life, attracting 31 million unique visitors and one million app downloads since a high-profile relaunch last month.
However its owners do not appear to want those loyal users, who stuck around even when MySpace became a tarnished brand, to spoil the party for its new target audience of young “millenials”.
Furious users complained that Myspace has erased all of their blogs, private messages, videos, comments and posts, when they try and log-in to the new site.
Myspace veterans, whose lives have been marked out by the blogs and photos posted daily over nearly a decade, are threatening a class-action lawsuit over what they see as the destruction of their personal histories.
One disgruntled member wrote: “I was a loyal user who never deserted Myspace. I used it almost everyday since 2006. I wrote hundreds of blogs that, to my horror, were simply gone as of last night with no prior warning given. That is no way to treat us. Please give us a chance to recover old blogs. This is like losing family photographs, and it is really horrible.”
Another posted on the site’s forum: “This is no different than losing one’s writing or photographs in a house