5 Social Media Networks That Never Caught On

Social media will go down as one of the most transformative shifts in the digital age. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a host of other social media networks have revolutionized the way we interact, do business and learn about the world. Given that social media is still a relatively new phenomenon, it wasn’t too long ago that dozens of other platforms were competing for their share of the market. As it turned out, most of these social media experiments fizzled out.

Below I’m taking a look at 5 Social Media Networks That Never Caught On


Since the arrival of Facebook, Myspace has faded into obscurity. Once the premier social networking juggernaut, the website has since tried its luck as a music platform. Unfortunately, it remains almost completely irrelevant on the social media scene. At its height, the company employed 1,600 people. It’s now lucky to employ around 200. A series of administrative blunders and a lack of innovation left the door wide open for Facebook to not only overtake Myspace, but crush it in the process.


Ello is another floundering social media network that is still holding on for dear life. Commonly referred to as the “Anti-Facebook,” Ello tried to make its mark as an ad-free social media platform. In other words, it tried to dethrone Facebook by promising a commercial-free environment. Despite receiving some initial buzz, Ello never quite caught on. Industry experts say it’s because the company was created as a reaction to Facebook, and didn’t have much to offer other than its promise of ad-free browsing.


Diaspora is another social media platform that emerged to combat Facebook. Only this time, it took aim at its rival’s lack of adequate privacy. Founded in 2010, Diaspora was built on open source software, allowing users to control their own personal data. The platform has a noble philosophy based on decentralization, freedom and privacy, but never really caught on with mainstream audiences. And while it allowed users to connect Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr accounts, updates could only be posted from Diaspora. But a lack of functionality, no real unique offerings and a name that resembles a stomach upset medicine soon made Diaspora irrelevant. It still exists today, but don’t expect to hear much about it unless you go looking for it.


Friendster is the only “failed” entry on this list, meaning it is no longer active. With a great domain name and pretty cool gimmick, Friendster really had a chance to leave its mark on the industry. This is especially true considering it was founded in 2002, back when social media was virtually nonexistent. According to experts, Friendster had too much media and not enough social. By 2004, it had lost its title as top social media network to Myspace. As strong connections within Friendster began to unravel, the whole thing soon went belly up.


This one is a little more controversial, given that it is owned by the world’s foremost internet company. At the time of its launch in 2011, Google+ was supposed to be the next big thing. But unlike Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn, the platform never caught on as the go-to platform to share your ideas or connect with friends and family. Rather, it was that somewhat cool page that linked you to Gmail, Google Drive and all the other apps Google offered. Unfortunately, Google+ was a tad too late to the market, and was never able to compete with Facebook. Analysts also note that it didn’t move into mobile fast enough, leaving it on the outs of a burgeoning industry. Google is still a top company, but just couldn’t cut it in the world of social.

Honourable Mentions

Our top-five list could have easily been a top-15. The social media graveyard is a big one, and you really have to do some digging to uncover some of the lost gems. Below are some other social media networks that failed to establish themselves:

  • Orkut (dissolved in 2014)
  • Yahoo! Buzz (dissolved in 2011)
  • ITunes Ping (dissolved in 2012)
  • Gowalla (dissolved in 2012)
  • Bolt (inactive as of 2008)
  • Beme (active)

Did you use any of these social media networks? Tweet me @Charli_Says and let me know


Racehael Morrill (September 24, 2015). “6 Social Media Networks That Just Couldn’t Make It Happen.” Customer Magnetism.

Michelle Kuhl (March 1, 2013). “5 Social Media Networks That Failed to Catch On.” Social Media Today.

Racehael Morrill (September 24, 2015). “6 Social Media Networks That Just Couldn’t Make It Happen.” Customer Magnetism.

Racehael Morrill (September 24, 2015). “6 Social Media Networks That Just Couldn’t Make It Happen.” Customer Magnetism.