Before Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even YouTube, there was MySpace. MySpace was the first social network to go mainstream back in 2004, signing up 1 million users just one month after its launch [source: Stenovec]. Everybody from rock stars to bored teenagers created MySpace profile pages and started "friending" each other like crazy. By 2005, MySpace was the fifth most-viewed Internet domain in America [source: BBC].
And then Rupert Murdoch came along. The News Corp billionaire bought MySpace's parent company in 2005 for $580 million [source: Stenovec]. According to MySpace co-founder and former CEO Chris DeWolfe, Murdoch squandered the social network's incredible popularity by trying to make MySpace profitable too quickly. Murdoch promised huge revenues to Wall Street and crowded the site with ads that eventually alienated users, who flocked to ad-free Facebook [source: Rushton].
MySpace traffic peaked in 2008 with 75.9 million unique visitors, but the site couldn't fight the onslaught of Facebook. Murdoch sold MySpace in 2011 for a piddling $35 million, and admitted via Twitter that "we screwed up in every way possible, learned lots of valuable expensive lessons" [source: Ngak].