myspace, WTF?
July 13, 2006 8:54 PM   Subscribe

Why is MySpace so popular?

I heard on NPR yesterday that 250,000 per day are signing up, and that people "hang out" there for hours every day. What are people doing there? What's the attraction? What's there you can't get on AIM, or posting to Blogger, etc.? If it's all about being "friends," can't anyone just be a "friend" to anyone else? What is this?

I'm 45 years old if that helps in breaking it down for me.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders to Computers & Internet (49 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
It caught my interest because I have found dozens of old classmates and friends and it hasn't cost me a thing (except maybe my soul, when I see some of those horrid backgrounds). As for spending hours there? I don't get that either.
posted by chiababe at 8:56 PM on July 13, 2006

My pet theory is web social inertia. The first popular thing ... stays popular. The vast mainstream Web audience visits the same 20 sites over and over again.
posted by frogan at 8:59 PM on July 13, 2006

I think frogan has a great point. There are tons of forums and social sites out there but only a handful I visit as I don't want the hassle of learning a whole new "culture", getting to know the regulars, reading the history etc. Maybe MySpace just has the power of momentum.

having said that anyone remember Friendster? Yeah, me neither.
posted by fshgrl at 9:06 PM on July 13, 2006

The first popular thing was actually Friendster, but it quickly leveled off for a variety of reasons.

I'm curious at the success of MySpace as well. Although it's approach to a democratic and flexible web design that gives its members carte blanche to do whatever they want with their profiles has been trumpeted as a key ingredient in its success, I find the horrendous coding and layout of most of Myspace sites practically traumatic. They keep crashing my web browser with all that embedded music, video, flashing text, etc.
posted by Juggermatt at 9:06 PM on July 13, 2006

MySpace has its own IM, blogs etc. Plus hot girls/guys talk to you, you can listen to music, and make your own stuff in a way that is so easy it's nuts. Teens DON'T care about the stuff that you and I might, like ads, obnoxious design and noise and the sheer volume of chatter happening there all the time. People like to tune in to see what's changed and to make short range plans and to upload goofy pictures of themselves.

Just tonight I helped a kid put a picture of himself up on MySpace and talked to him about it. He likes it because it's what everyone is up to now, he has some friends that he knows from other places there and he gets to sort of fake being a hipster badass when he's more of a suburban brainy dork.
posted by jessamyn at 9:08 PM on July 13, 2006

danah boyd is a social researcher who spent a few years studying teen interactions in online spaces. She's become somewhat of a MySpace advocate. Read a bunch of her old blog posts - they cover her educated opinion on this topic in detail.
posted by muddgirl at 9:13 PM on July 13, 2006 [2 favorites]

I really have no idea. I'm probably the only person in my age group who doesn't have a MySpace profile and doesn't plan on getting one anytime soon. The thing I'm intrigued by is that it has so many utterly ugly pages on it. Maybe it attracts that sort of thing. Maybe people don't have anything better to do online. is so much better.
posted by oaf at 9:15 PM on July 13, 2006

also, there's a certian critical mass in MySpace, because that's where everyone else is, that's where everyone else will go. This is especially imporatant in the social networking world. If there's no one to talk to, then why hang out.

Personally, I'm a fan of Tribe, despite all of the missteps it's taken to alient it core user base. I hang out there to talk to my friends, mostly SF based Burner types and I'm there because that's where they are.

I use my MySpace profile to connect w/ DJ's and musicians only. I totally don't understand how to use it, but then again, in the social networking world, I'm old, old, old.
posted by lannanh at 9:17 PM on July 13, 2006

A big part of it (for me anyway) is that everyone is on there. I mean there are 65 million profiles. Sure I can use AIM to talk to friends I already have, but I can't use that to see who my friends friends are and 'explore'. See what's out there, including all the crazies, etc. I signed up because a friend of mine signed up.

Friendster could have become this popular if their software had been able to scale, but it couldn't.

I have no idea why myspace got to the tipping point so quickly, I think because it was more "fun" then facebook, and not bogged down like friendster. That's probably the only real reason. But once it reached critical mass, it just became better due to all the users.

It really has a lot to do with the network effect. Once you have more people then other social networks, you become more attractive to new users. Since myspace grew the quickest, it became the 'best', despite being a technical POS.

That said, after playing around with a few days, I got bored and hardly ever visit.
posted by delmoi at 9:18 PM on July 13, 2006 is so much better.

Better, but certanly more dull. Facebook is like an antiseptic doctors office, while my space is like, a frat party in a shack, or a rave, or something. Lots more to look at even though it's mostly ugly.

But yeah if they used proper HTML+CSS it would be a lot nicer.
posted by delmoi at 9:21 PM on July 13, 2006

As someone older than the general MySpace demographic, my reasons were similar to chiababe. For some unknown reason, dozens of my friends from college were on MySpace. We are all in our 30's and 40's and spread all over the world. MySpace is an easy way to check in with everyone at once, and see what they are doing.

Why is it better than regular e-mail or IM? Well, some of these people I was never exceptionally close to. I probably would never drop speak to them on a one-to-one basis. But they were part of my social circle, and I am curious about how they are doing. MySpace make these types of casual interactions very easy.

I've also found it useful as a way to keep track of some bands that I like a lot.
posted by kimdog at 9:25 PM on July 13, 2006

I use MySpace regularly, for reasons many mentioned above. I am often frustrated by how slow it is and how often features seem to be "down for maintenance". I wonder if continuing problems of this nature will decrease its popularity.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:26 PM on July 13, 2006 [1 favorite]

I joined up after someone asked me to be their friend. Same with friendster. After about a year I realized that this is what I had needed all these years since I kept moving around and losing touch with all my friends.

I rarely post "bulletins" or add people I don't even know, but I do use it as a backup blog for now. It also keeps me up on whats going on in people's lives as well as upcoming birthdays.

I think the main attraction for people is a sense of voyerism in knowing at least a part of what's going on in someone's life by reading comments from other people about them, or seeing who is friends with who.
posted by Derek at 9:30 PM on July 13, 2006

The first popular thing ... stays popular.

anyone remember Friendster? Yeah, me neither.

A good number of my friends (and friends of friends, the vast majority of us in our late 20s/early 30s) still use Friendster, as do I--partly because it was the first to come along, and partly because MySpace has a sort of reputation (deserved or not) for being oriented toward annoying teens. I can't say I'm at all behooved to put together a MySpace profile/page/whatever, and I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything.

Friendster still works, and it's rather pleasant post-hype.
posted by kittyprecious at 9:31 PM on July 13, 2006

I suspect one of the things that extends session time is that *you can sit on your sent email and see when it gets read*.

As for "90,000,000 subscribers", shyeah, right.

How many have signed on in the last 30 days?

A million? Two?

You'll notice they don't mention that stat... At least the press have finally started being mildly skeptical in the way they characterize that number.

That said, yes, I got dragged in, too.

No, I won't tell you my id. :-)
posted by baylink at 9:40 PM on July 13, 2006

When I surf the internet, I often leave browser windows/tabs open when I leave. This way, I can start up where I left off last time. The result of this, though, is that I am probably marked as someone who hangs out for hours at a time, even if I am asleep or at work. I had to explain this once to my cousin, who thought I was a MySpace junkie.

Also, as others have said, I joined so that I could talk to people who I otherwise would have little contact with. Not everyone is a computer nerd like me, and I don't necessarily have the current phone number of my 3rd grade best friend, so even though the annoying backgrounds get to me sometimes (and can often bring Firefox to a crawl), I deal with it so that I can keep in touch with people.

I have also met a few interesting people through MySpace, not to mention interesting music. I went to a bar to see a band once because they sent me a friend request and I thought their music sounded interesting enough to get drunk to. It was. :)

And I'll end with a quote I found in a comment on some blog:
"Myspace is like a nightclub with crappy decor & crappy music, but it's where everyone else is so you end up there."

posted by mysterpigg at 9:41 PM on July 13, 2006

I think the main attraction for people is a sense of voyerism in knowing at least a part of what's going on in someone's life by reading comments from other people about them, or seeing who is friends with who.

In my group of college-age friends, we all use Facebook and few use MySpace unless it's for their band or something. But that's a huge part of what people do on F'book -- "Facebook stalking" it's called. I'm sure it applies to MySpace, and I'm sure that's a big part.
posted by SuperNova at 9:43 PM on July 13, 2006

MySpace doesn't have many restrictions. If some kid wants to post a picture that means something to him (whether it's funny, it has an emotional connection, or it is just a hot girl) as his background, he can. He can have the page scream his favorite song or shows his favorite music video. He can add his star idols to his home page by clicking a button (whether they are actually the celeb in question is another thing, but it isn't out of the realm of possibilities). He can read jokes, stories, blog entries, or just hang out and listen to music. The possibilities are pretty endless for what someone could do on myspace.

Not that myspace doesn't have some drawbacks but the fact that it doesn't have many rules is the primary reason it is so popular. If suddenly they started moderating people who filled their pages/comments with sparkly letters or cracked down on the risque pictures, people would abandon myspace pretty damn quick.
posted by aburd at 9:45 PM on July 13, 2006

I think it's two things.

1st, MySpace has network effects, of course, in theory, so do all the social networking sites that came before it.

Which brings us to #2, MySpace came along with the right set of features at the right time to cross over from geekish gen-x early adopter types to a much larger mainstream market among "millenials." In some ways they followed the Microsoft strategy. Very little innovation, but they looked at what came before and adopted the features that seemed cool and made them accessible to a mass audience.

One of the things that helped them gain that mass audience is that users have the ability to massively customize their pages (probably made easier by the fact that CSS capable browers were widespread by the time myspace debuted).

That said, MySpace's major demographic is a fickle lot, and a lot of the social relationships formed and expressed on MySpace are pretty superficial. It may not be as "sticky" as it appears on the surface.
posted by Good Brain at 9:51 PM on July 13, 2006

SSF, there was an article in this weeks' (or as far as last sunday's edition) New York Times written by a very young, female intern, and the article was all about myspace and friendster, and internet social-networking...and the obsessive nature behind it. and it detailed how she spent her day checking myspace for profile views, and then her blogspot for comments, and friendster for hits, changing her profile pics at least once a day, analyzing other peoples' pictures, etc...

i just looked on the nytimes website for a good 10 minutes, but came up with nothing, so maybe someone here can remember it, or link it here?? i think it is a worthy article to link to.

Anyway, if i recall correctly, most of the impetus behind the popularity is that it stroked fragile ego, created instant popularity, and showed the networks between friends, which allowed for greater networks of friends IRL. it's all about hoarding popularity and then hopefully turning it into real-life relationships/friendships. i think it's really about the rush that people get for feeling popular, attractive, bright, etc.
posted by naxosaxur at 9:58 PM on July 13, 2006

Voyeurism? People are checking out myspace to see other people's genitalia (well, I guess, in some cases yes) or to see them having sex?
posted by raysmj at 9:59 PM on July 13, 2006

There are a lot of factors:

1. Friendster became big due to the novelty of 6-degrees style connections, but wasn't ready for the traffic and collapsed. Myspace stepped in with a clone at the right time.

2. Through sloppiness in coding the site, Myspace didn't disallow CSS in their profile answers, which let enterprising people decorate their profiles like their room or locker. Investing time and effort to express your personality creates a feeling of ownership. It's more than just some profile, it's your piece of the web.

3. The site grows exponentially as each person invites all their friends.

4. The site reached a tipping point when people under a certain age began asking new friends "what's your myspace?" instead of email or phone number. Because a person's profile contains their photos and friends and journal entries, "friending" someone invites them into your world, in a way.

5. It has nothing to do with the bands. The bands are there because that's where the kids are.
posted by the jam at 10:05 PM on July 13, 2006

In my group of college-age friends, we all use Facebook and few use MySpace unless it's for their band or something.

That's been my experience as well. Depending on what college or university you attend, Facebook might well have been around for two-plus years. I've been using it for more than two years, long before I'd heard of MySpace. However, my university was on there when there were ~25 schools on there. Now it's a whole other story.
posted by anjamu at 10:06 PM on July 13, 2006

Well, emotional voyeurism: you can do a pretty good job watching other people (pretend to) have lives on MyS.
posted by baylink at 10:06 PM on July 13, 2006

When I surf the internet, I often leave browser windows/tabs open when I leave. This way, I can start up where I left off last time. The result of this, though, is that I am probably marked as someone who hangs out for hours at a time, even if I am asleep or at work. I had to explain this once to my cousin, who thought I was a MySpace junkie.

Actually, unless myspace automatically refreshes itself repeatedly in your browser, which I don't think it does, then this statement is inaccurate.

Leaving a browser window open doesn't leave you 'still on a site' ... Web browsers make a connection, request a page, and then disconnect. The only way to tell if you're 'stil on a site' is to see how long it has been since you last loaded a page, and decide if that's long enough that you've probably left.

The "online now" feature of myspace just indicates that you've loaded a page in the last X minutes/seconds (where X is whatever number myspace decided on)
posted by twiggy at 10:14 PM on July 13, 2006

5. It has nothing to do with the bands. The bands are there because that's where the kids are.

That was true initially, but now that it's also where the bands are, it brings in yet more kids... They love the fact that in some cases, they actually get to exchange messages with members of their favorite bands...

My involvement in promoting music has sort of forced me to create a myspace page ... the bands are exactly why i'm there.
posted by twiggy at 10:18 PM on July 13, 2006

If you're in highschool you can't be the only one WITHOUT a MySpace profile, so once half of the class has it, the other half will need it too.

They love the fact that in some cases, they actually get to exchange messages with members of their favorite bands...

True. In fact, my sister, who lives in Holland, doesn't see MySpace as a social networking site at all. All Dutch kids are on Hyves, which is pretty much the same as MySpace but better designed, and that's where they do their social stuff. She had no idea that MySpace is the same thing, and said she thought it was just "to talk to bands". She's 20 and in university, and very up to date of what's going on in pop culture and the internet, but in Holland Hyves took over the social part of Myspace. All my old highschool classmates from ten+ years ago are on there, too.
posted by easternblot at 10:41 PM on July 13, 2006

Even though it's cool to hate myspace, I've been on it for four years and use it every single day. It's the only way I can keep in touch with all my friends, who are scattered about North America.

As it gains popularity, I find more and more long lost friends from high school or earlier. I went to high school in a rural area, and my high school friends only discovered Myspace recently, after one of our classmates was killed in Iraq - his myspace page stands as a memorial to him.

How can someone spend hours on myspace? If I took the time to send a message to every friend on my list (90% of whom are IRL friends), it would take me an hour. I spend a half hour each day checking in, answering/responding to messages and comments, check in on a couple groups I moderate, leaving little posts in my blog so that I don't have to tell 50 different people what I'm up to individually, etc.

Now imagine if I wanted to customize my page, add songs, set up a music page for my band, instant message with friends, participate in groups, weed through the classifieds, hang out in the chat rooms, ad infinitum. While I don't do these things, I know a lot of non-teenyboppers that do. Not everyone on myspace is a complete moron.

I agree that myspace has gotten more and more ridiculous, it tends to being hideous, it's turned into a huge marketing vehicle by Fox, and a lot of the features suck. But they are popular for a reason, and you can't deny that it brings people together.
posted by SassHat at 10:45 PM on July 13, 2006

I only slightly use it, and in time I've found that it hasn't really helped me keep in touch with anyone outside of brief reconnections. However it has helped my band out some
posted by drezdn at 11:10 PM on July 13, 2006

Hmm, you're right, MySpace doesn't refresh itself (I just checked in IE, with a tab still open in Firefox from a couple hours ago).

Other possible explanations (excuses):
During the course of surfing the more interesting sites out there (MeFi included), I do occasionally refresh to check for new messages or posts. And when I hear the "new email" sound ring across my tiny studio apartment, I tend to read the email almost immediately, and if it ends up being a new MySpace message/comment/whatever, I'll read that, too. Does that mean I am "hanging out" for hours at a time, even if it is actually only a couple minutes over the course of that time?

I still believe that fact is skewed somewhat; then again, maybe I am a MySpace junkie...
posted by mysterpigg at 11:13 PM on July 13, 2006

Its called denial, mysterpigg ;)

I have a myspace account, because everyone else does. That said, I haven't posted anything on my profile (other than the requisite 'myspace sucks') and really only use it for messaging and looking at other people's pictures. I don't bother adding anyone, because unlike facebook, adding people doesn't get you anything except a higher friend count (whee. I have 99999 friends, therefore better than you).

At least at my school/in my circles, myspace is regarded as 'what all the sophomores/juniors in HS use before they can get a real facebook account.' almost everyone who's going to college uses facebook almost exclusively now, except to talk to people that don't have it.

That said, I knew people who would sit on myspace for hours and hours, looking at friends of friends of friends, leaving comments about profiles, listening to music, etc. The next day at school they'd be moaning (read: bragging) about it, but it was definitely an in thing to do.

Here's a tip: if you use firefox, you can specify a default CSS profile to override the page's. You can also tell myspace to not play songs by default (you have to click play to get them to start then). Those two things make myspace almost bearable.
posted by devilsbrigade at 12:00 AM on July 14, 2006

Not to derail anything here, but are there any "good" designs on myspace? Certainly someone has had a go at making a user-friendly, perhaps even accessibility-compliant myspace page?
posted by medium format at 3:33 AM on July 14, 2006

It is so popular that I'm finding people that I wouldn't find on other online connection tools.

You can search by high school even! I've reconnected with people that I never expected to find on the internet.

Then you can see who their friends are and get a general sense of what they are up to now.

That's my main reason for using it.
posted by k8t at 4:00 AM on July 14, 2006

I'm not really sure what draws me to it, but I am a self-confessed MySpace junkie (at times). My favorite part of it is basically the networking side of things, I too have caught up with people that I hadn't seen in 5 or 6 years.
posted by cholly at 4:41 AM on July 14, 2006

No, I won't tell you my id. :-)

but are there any "good" designs on myspace? Certainly someone has had a go at making a user-friendly, perhaps even accessibility-compliant myspace page?

Hacking A More Tasteful MySpace

I had issues fully incorporating his code, but it's a start.
posted by dorisfromregopark at 5:10 AM on July 14, 2006

J.B. Jackson, the father of modern landscape design, wrote once on small towns and their early dirt roads. Because the roads had evolved with the town, they often confounded visitors. Roads led to nowhere. Signs pointed in the wrong direction, or to places that no longer existed. George Washington hated visiting these small towns on political stops for precisely that reason.

Jackson suggested that these small roads served as a rite of passage for the small towns. As you became a member of the community, you learned its roads.

I think MySpace is demonstrative of this idea, only with user interface (UI). Sure, the site needed a critical mass to reward the time new members invested. But once you invested a set amount of time in learning the cubersome and slow interface, you don't want to just forfeit that time. You begin to own the UI; not because it's shiny and pretty, but because you've learned it.

Just my thoughts. Longer version here.
posted by beelerspace at 6:15 AM on July 14, 2006

Even though it's cool to hate myspace

SassHat, the sad part about cool is that it means 65 million people aren't cool
posted by matimer at 6:54 AM on July 14, 2006

Voyeurism. Period. You can view people's pages with surveys they've complete, their friends (and their friends!) and comments and photos and blah blah blah. Voyeurism.
posted by bozichsl at 7:07 AM on July 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

The May 15th issue of the New Yorker had an article by John Cassidy on Facebook; it isn't online, but here's a post about it with some quotes, including this:
Under Metcalfe's Law, Facebook is vastly less useful than MySpace. But Zuckerberg argues that on social-networking sites it isn't the size of the over-all network that matters but the way people organize themselves into subnetworks and exchange information within those subnetworks. "If your site is open, and you let everyone read everything, then the stuff they put up is going to be less personal," he said. "The stuff that people want to share with just their friends is the most personal stuff: photo albums that you only want your friends to see, contact information, that kind of thing...It's a much smaller number of people getting the information, but it's more valuable," Zuckerberg said. "The information is going to the right people. So giving people control over who sees what helps to increase over-all information flow."
posted by languagehat at 7:50 AM on July 14, 2006

My name is lampoil and I am a myspace junkie in recovery. The real answer is that different people use it for different things. But in general, I totally agree that it's mostly voyeurism and memeism.

Check up on people you used to know--what are they saying? What are people saying to them? Are they still x religion? Are they still x sexual orientation? Are they dating anyone? Are they pathetic now? (Schadenfreude). And so on. It's like you opened your yearbook and instead of just reminiscing, you could also magically see how everyone turned out, too. Like an instant class reunion (thus the name facebook for a similar site).

That's why people read. The reason people put their own profile up is the same reason they post 300+ question personal surveys and the like on their livejournals. Or why we used to email surveys to each other back before livejournal (and OpenDiary! Remember that? Ah, memories). We like to think that people we know (and with myspace, people we used to know or possibly don't even know at all) are interested in every little thing about us. That someone else wants to know what our favorite books are, or if WE'RE dating anyone or if WE'RE still x religion or what have you.

But then that's the reason I stopped using it. I realized I didn't want everyone on the internets to know everything about me, much less certain people I used to know. Also, I was spending too much time doing essentially nothing.

Also, some people use it (and the similar sites) to find dates. Especially the gays do this, in my experience. All the info and trashiness of, but free!

As an aside, dude, I had a myspace back when everyone else was still on friendster. In fact, I deleted the thing before most people had even come over. We're talking 2003/early 2004 here, people. In conclusion, I'm cool.
posted by lampoil at 8:12 AM on July 14, 2006

I think the essential crappiness of it's design has contributed to its success, once it got over the tipping point of being the place where everyone else was.

You can customize it, but not too much. No matter how garish a page is, you know where to look for their list of friends, the books they like, etc. Once you're used to the interface, it remarkably good at conveying information fast.

This has particularly helped music.myspace- to check out a band, you don't have to endure the flash intros and and streaming media issues and "clever" design that made most band sites a mess. Now you just google a band, find their myspace, and within seconds you're sampling their tunes.
posted by bendybendy at 8:34 AM on July 14, 2006

>>> You begin to own the UI; not because it's shiny and pretty, but because you've learned it.

Not buying it. That's like saying that you'd come to appreciate sleeping atop a mattress with springs bursting up through the top-cushion, just because you've grown accustomed to it. With no alternative, you might relish those overnight bruises, but if someone pulled into your driveway with a brand new Serta Sleeper, you'd take it in a heartbeat and leave the old, ratty one on the curb to rot.

The UI is atrocious. You know it. With all of that Rupert Murdoch cash behind it, I'd hope that they'd at least update the means of customization to something this side of 1996. Sure, you can stick in-line audio and video on there, but that doesn't fix the ugly. The kidlings might scream after an update to UI breaks their hard-wrought themework, but one shouldn't have to sneak CSS into the open text fields of their profile to customize their page.

Does the UI keep people out? Maybe not the teens, no. And yes, I have my own profile, mostly to connect with other people and groups that have succumbed to the draw. But the UI does prevent me (mentally, if not physically) from actually spending any time on the site.
posted by grabbingsand at 9:33 AM on July 14, 2006

It's the only way I can keep in touch with all my friends, who are scattered about North America.

Oh, come on. If you're on MySpace, you have internet access. Ergo you can communicate with anybody else online via regular or web-based email. Doesn't MySpace allow you to send or receive an external email? (It's sounding like AOL before the September that never ended.)

It has nothing to do with the bands.

Really? Being way outside their target demographic, I must note the one place I see myspace URLs is in print advertisements for music events, clubs & such.
posted by Rash at 10:15 AM on July 14, 2006

With all of that Rupert Murdoch cash behind it, I'd hope that they'd at least update the means of customization to something this side of 1996.

Lord knows Murdoch insists that his tabloids employ the very best graphic design possible.
posted by bendybendy at 10:40 AM on July 14, 2006

I must note the one place I see myspace URLs is in print advertisements for music events, clubs & such.

That's because it's beneficial to the bands and clubs to make Myspace their main point of contact online. Every "friend" they get is free publicity. But the fact that the bands and clubs have profiles are not the reason that the average user creates an account.
posted by the jam at 12:29 PM on July 14, 2006

I saw a MySpace link as the website for a new movie that's coming out, at the end of the movie trailer (I *think* the trailer was for John Tucker Must Die, a teen flick).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:04 PM on July 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

naxosaxur: the article was this past Sunday's "Modern Love" column in the NYT.
posted by SenshiNeko at 1:25 PM on July 14, 2006

Following friends is a factor - I have MySpace mainly because I already have friends there that aren't really elsewhere.

It seems to be a geographic thing. I have friends from all over the world (I'm from Malaysia) - the Asians are on Friendster, the Americans and Canadians on MySpace, rest of the world on hi5.
posted by divabat at 8:29 PM on July 14, 2006

Myspace is way better than match, etc. for dating. Match, etc., are geared towards keeping you within their system, because they want the free users to have to subscribe (pay) to be able to e-mail back and forth. As such, they are very restrictive with HTML, particularly links, embedded objects, and such. So with myspace, you can have videos, mp3s, etc., and generally have a much more interesting page that's more reflective of your personality than anything you could do on Match.

I wish, however, that I could pay $5/month (or whatever) to eliminate the banner ads -- both for myself viewing other people's pages, and for them viewing my page.
posted by LordSludge at 10:23 AM on July 17, 2006

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