Disliked to Death: Failed Social Media Platforms

The kids may not remember a time before social media, and who can blame them? Social media is so much a part of living in the world today, that picturing a world without it can feel a lot like trying to comprehend the size of the universe. It just doesn’t compute.

Today, social media networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat dominate the market. But, before there were any clear leaders, there were a lot of companies scratching and clawing their way to the top. A lot of them weren’t all that bad either. In fact, you’ll probably notice a few familiar features on this social media obituary. These social media platforms may have fallen flat initially, but some of their intuitive ideas live on in our current digital landscape.

Today, we pay tribute to the founding mothers and fathers of social media. So, let’s walk down memory lane for a comprehensive look at some of the biggest failures in the world of social media platforms.


You’d think that one of the premier technology companies in the world would have the resources and the personnel to launch a global social media platform and make it successful. But, as you’ll no doubt find out, money can’t buy you social media success.

Google’s social media platform launched in the summer of 2011, and it experienced issues right from the jump. The platform had 540 million monthly active users as of 2014, but very little activity when compared to Facebook.


And then the death blow happened. A data leak that affected 500,000 accounts and Google’s attempt at covering it up. The platform never recovered, and Google recently announced that they’re putting Google+ out to pasture.

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iTunes Ping

Music, social media, Apple … I mean, what could go wrong? Apparently, quite a lot.

Apple launched iTunes Ping, commonly referred to as Ping, on September 1, 2010. As with all of the company’s releases, there was a lot of fanfare. The service launched with over a million users!

The service revolved around music, allowing users to follow musical artists, share posts and music with their friends, and more. But the party was short-lived. Lack of Facebook integration, reports of uncontrollable spamming, and poor marketing led Apple to pull the plug on Ping just one year later.


Digg isn’t a social media platform per se. Founded in November 2004, the creators set out to provide the Internet with a news content website that promoted content based on aggregated ratings from its users. These days, people turn to Reddit for that service, but in the late 2000s and early 2010s, people went to Digg in droves.

The idea was new, as were the problems. Digg was challenged to overcome issues like artificially inflated articles, spamming, and a restless, low-level community of contributors. The community became too difficult to manage and eventually succumbed to an over-crowded social media platform marketplace of better services.

The site is still active, but its popularity is a far cry from what it used to be. Today, Digg is owned by advertising giant BuySellAds.

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