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The Life & Death of Social Media

A closer look at the services that digitally connect our lives, and some that came and went.

By Lacy Schley
Oct 25, 2018 5:00 AMNov 14, 2019 9:19 PM
Charts: Alison Mackey/Discover; Design elements: Envato


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We’re more connected than ever, thanks to social media. Despite thousands of miles of distance, we can still stay in touch with friends and family. We can even make new friends and start social movements at the drop of a #hashtag. But the websites that helped make this all possible had to start somewhere. And despite their strong starts, some sites didn’t last to see the interconnected world we live in today.

Charts: Alison Mackey/Discover; Design elements: Envato


The Climb to Success:


  • 2004-2008: http://d1lge852tjjqow.cloudfront.net/CIK-0001326801/f3fcb2a3-f76a-4aaa-9c7c-9fa100fdc962.pdf

  • 2009-2017: https://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/

  • Latest 2018 figure: https://newsroom.fb.com/company-info/p


  • 2010-2014: https://www.statista.com/statistics/282087/number-of-monthly-active-twitter-users/

  • 2015: https://investor.twitterinc.com/static-files/efd72267-6f92-49ee-891f-188e1a43d993

  • 2016: https://investor.twitterinc.com/static-files/7af2715c-27e5-45ba-a690-84620179a1e2

  • 2017: https://investor.twitterinc.com/static-files/c48a4ad8-6c1d-4dfc-b263-898e0bfde2c8

  • 2018: https://investor.twitterinc.com/static-files/5ce969d2-a97f-49ef-ae10-577b81f6efee


  • 2013-2017: https://www.statista.com/statistics/253577/number-of-monthly-active-instagram-users/

  • 2018: https://instagram-press.com/blog/2018/06/20/welcome-to-igtv/


  • 2013-2017: https://www.statista.com/statistics/260819/number-of-monthly-active-whatsapp-users/


  • 2015-2017: https://www.statista.com/statistics/463353/pinterest-global-mau/

Ghosts of Social Sites Past:


  • https://mashable.com/2006/08/13/xanga-profile/#W_h13K_ENmqY


  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/31/AR2008123101894.html

  • http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/webhead/2009/03/ye_olde_social_network.html


  • http://www.prweb.com/releases/crewmedia/acquireseons/prweb5279824.htm

  • https://progresspartners.com/news-1/2015/10/22/progress-partners-completes-sale-of-eonscom-and-eons-boom-media

Who’s Using What?

  • http://www.pewinternet.org/2018/03/01/social-media-use-in-2018/

Back From the Dead:

  • 2010: http://techland.time.com/2011/12/20/myspace-returns-with-facebook-integrated-music-player/

  • 2011: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/who-uses-facebook-twitter-linkedin-myspace-social-media-update-4th-q-2010-and-1st-q-2011

  • 2012-2015: https://www.statista.com/statistics/265099/unique-visitors-to-myspacecom/

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