A Teenager Has Remade Myspace and Everybody Is Loving It


SpaceHey profile screenshot

Screenshot courtesy of the creator.

Your finest buddy had one. Your older sister had one. Many of the bands clogging up your iTunes library had one. Even enduring teen icon Effy Stonem had a Myspace web page — her High 8 placements hinting at a desire for Cook dinner over Freddie (we knew it!). By the tip of the 00s, nearly everybody you ever met was on Myspace, backcombing and spraying the shit out of their hair for that all-important upside-down profile pic. 

Myspace was most carefully related to the alt scene, functioning as a heady, glitter-encrusted playground the place emos, scene queens, greebos and goths alike would mingle, however its attraction straddled subculture strains, a lot in order that the positioning had 100 million customers at its peak in 2009. Finally, the platform dwindled in recognition, becoming a member of the proverbial black parade after a failed try and sustain with Fb left it confused and soulless. However now in 2021, the social media local weather is in turmoil — and a brand new web site strives to vary that by bringing again the vibe, aesthetic and neighborhood really feel of old-fashioned Myspace. 

SpaceHey is a model new social networking expertise that focuses closely on two elements lacking from most fashionable platforms: personalisation and privateness. Coded totally by 18-year-old An from Germany, the positioning seems nearly an identical to how Myspace did in its heyday — full with blogs, bulletins, an old-fashioned IM operate and, most significantly, the power to make use of HTML and CSS to totally customise your profile with cute layouts, footage and music. 

“I used to be just a few years outdated when Myspace was in style,” An explains over e mail. “I by no means got here to make use of Myspace. Nevertheless, due to older buddies and the web, I heard so much about it. I got here to the conclusion you can’t discover one thing like this these days, the place everybody might be this inventive.” Aiming to repair this downside, An used his extra time throughout the pandemic to rework his imaginative and prescient into actuality, sifting via archived webpages, screenshots and movies to make sure the positioning was as genuine as doable.

SpaceHey screenshots

Photograph: Natty’s SpaceHey web page.

It appears to have paid off. SpaceHey formally launched on the twenty ninth of November 2020, and since then round 55,000 customers have joined worldwide. (An can’t inform me actual demographics — he goals wherever doable to minimise the information he collects from customers for a extra personal social media expertise.) 

Considered one of them is 32-year-old poet T.J., who used Myspace to share his writing again within the 00s. 

“I randomly stumbled onto SpaceHey through Twitter,” he tells me. “They have been selling some new ‘Myspace incarnate’ and, as somebody who loves nostalgia, I used to be instantly . I hate Fb and have been in search of a cause to, if not utterly delete it, then actually restrict my time on there. As soon as I obtained right here and noticed the unique Myspace vibe, I fell in love.” He admits that the “shiny toy feeling” of SpaceHey is sporting off as his utilization turns into much less obsessive, however it’s nonetheless his browser homepage and he logs on a number of occasions a day. 

Self-described retired scene queen Kelly Chaos is one other millennial who has migrated to SpaceHey. She was huge on Myspace, at one level amassing over 800k buddies earlier than her web page was hacked. 

“Myspace was an enormous a part of my life between 2004 and 2010,” she tells me. “I used to be in highschool when it began and it was a approach for me to flee the bullying I endured as a young person. I spent all my lunches within the library on Myspace.” 

Kelly Chaos SpaceHey

Photograph: Kelly Chaos’s SpaceHey web page.

After listening to about SpaceHey from a buddy, Kelly was fast to enroll, pondering the positioning would possibly give her a serotonin enhance throughout the pandemic. However, like T.J., she shortly grew to become an energetic person and has already racked up over 1400 buddies, a few of whom are pictured on her profile holding up ‘Kelly Chaos’ indicators — proving extra than simply practical elements of Myspace tradition have made it over to SpaceHey. Including folks you didn’t know irl was prolific on Myspace however started to wane as digital areas grew to become a projection of actuality, reasonably than an area for escapism. With probably the most problematic keyboard warriors quick changing into the identical folks we share awkward household dinners with, it’s no shock that SpaceHey’s customers are determined to attach with like-minded strangers throughout the globe. 

“Most social media platforms nowadays are extremely poisonous,” Kelly says. “Within the three weeks I have been on SpaceHey I’ve skilled extra love and help from folks than I’ve within the final 5 years on all of my social media platforms mixed. It’s positively refreshing.”

T.J. is in settlement. “It is like a spot of refuge, particularly for us scene youngsters that grew up however nonetheless maintain on to these recollections of listening to MCR on our iPod Shuffles.”

One group notably eager to make use of SpaceHey as a instrument to develop their community are musicians. Myspace was synonymous with discovering new music, and this symbiotic relationship has by no means fairly been replicated elsewhere on-line (with maybe the more moderen exception of TikTok). SpaceHey serves as a contemporary begin — a clean CD onto which bands can burn their id. 

Natty, 28, is a vocalist within the screamo band Cassus. Although he was too shy to make a Myspace account himself, he used the positioning to hearken to music, and its affect programs via his personal work at present — particularly new solo venture Tir. 

“I’m hoping to attach with likeminded folks and develop my viewers as an artist now in the identical approach bands like Underoath and Silverstein did then,” he says. 

“There’s a robust streak of nostalgia on this venture, but in addition a whole lot of fashionable inspiration resembling the entire ‘emo entice’ scene like Lil Peep and Nothing,Nowhere, so I really feel like this new model of an outdated web site suits the same duality of my very own work completely.”

Each Kelly and Natty spotlight how a lot the alt neighborhood is flourishing on SpaceHey, and that is cross-generational. A part of the platform’s attraction might be accredited to the expansion of latest subdivisions of emo and the broader emo revival — encompassing not solely music, but in addition style and TikTok tendencies. Mix this with common Y2K nostalgia underneath the 20-year cycle, plus the inflow of latest, distinct aesthetics from e-girls to cottagecore, and you’ve got the recipe for why Gen Z yearn for the Myspace expertise they missed the primary time round. 

Mona, who’s 17 and from Nova Scotia, joined SpaceHey out of curiosity for what the Previous Web was like, in addition to to jot down poetry and promote their music. They agree that nostalgia performs an element of their technology’s curiosity in SpaceHey. 

“Nostalgia has continuously been on the forefront of tendencies for younger folks. Within the 2010s folks have been obsessive about the 80s, and now there are new teenagers obsessive about new cultures and tendencies of the Web,” they clarify. 

SpaceHey screenshots

Photograph: Considered one of Mona’s poems on SpaceHey.

Different younger persons are fascinated with coding, like 18-year-old Jess. Her mother and father (!!!) had Myspace, and he or she heard about SpaceHey from TikTok. Since becoming a member of, she’s been watching YouTube tutorials to discover ways to excellent her profile. 

“I like the thought of creating your profile suit your character and with the ability to meet new folks with comparable pursuits. With the ability to discover ways to code must be my favorite half. I assumed it was troublesome however when you get the cling of it, the outcomes are wonderful!”

The act of utilizing social media as an area to showcase your character and speak about your pursuits, reasonably than doomscroll via information, is especially alluring throughout the pandemic, and it’s maybe for that reason that Myspace isn’t the one 2000s web site being resurrected. Geocities already has a religious successor in Neocities, and now Bebo (arguably the Blur to Myspace’s Oasis) can also be getting a reboot, with founder Michael Birch telling BBC Information that he needs the brand new web site to focus extra on real-time interactions and fewer on the unfold of misinformation. 

SpaceHey screenshots

Photograph: Jess’s FaceHey web page.

It’s clear that our nostalgia and eager for the Previous Web isn’t solely aesthetic-based — with Kelly, Natty and T.J. all determined to return to a much less company, much less political social environment. 

“All of the mainstream social media websites of the final decade are much more ‘sq.’ in my view,” Natty says “I suppose Myspace was type of an ‘web wild west’ the place the customers had far more management over their profiles, and large firms had so much much less affect on the platform in comparison with Fb and Instagram with their fixed adverts.”

T.J. agrees and is eager to focus on the oppressive nature of contemporary platforms. “I feel most individuals are disenchanted with Fb as a result of it is a shady web site that monopolises a whole lot of social media and has oppressive practices of concentrating on intercourse employees and permitting racism to happen unchecked, whereas punishing those that converse out towards it.”

After we converse, An insists that SpaceHey is greater than only a Myspace clone, and that is clear from his behaviour. His energetic participation in the neighborhood extends past including every new person in an ode to Myspace Tom. Not solely does An reply to customers’ complaints and queries on Twitter, however he’s additionally not afraid of banning anybody who threatens to convey hate speech and harassment to SpaceHey, together with Neo-Nazis and those that are gender crucial. It’s a transfer that’s very a lot appreciated by the neighborhood. 

“I simply wish to give an enormous shout out to An and thank him for every thing he has accomplished. For somebody who wasn’t sufficiently old to essentially understand how particular Myspace was to folks like me, he’s going to develop into a hero to many people,” Kelly says. 

Regardless of this positivity, many customers’ are nonetheless uncertain that SpaceHey will make a long-lasting impression on the social media panorama. Is a web site the place you need to Log On and Off, which doesn’t and certain received’t ever have an app, viable in 2021? Is our understanding of what social media is so indifferent from the way it as soon as was that these again to fundamentals websites are more likely to fail as fads and even morph into the very websites we’re operating away from?

“If we’re being sincere, Fb began out the identical approach: a venture by a young person and grew into this megalomaniacal cesspool. Who is aware of if that is on the playing cards for SpaceHey as properly?” T.J. questions. 

Perhaps SpaceHey will proceed to thrive, taking centre stage as the brand new, beating coronary heart of the Previous Web, or maybe it exists merely as an empty carcass of how issues was once. Both approach, I suppose that’s fairly emo.

@laurahday





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