Have you ever heard of Pownce? How about Jaiku? Maybe even something called Yahoo 360?
If you haven't, don't worry. You're probably not alone. These are just a few of the many social networks that have come and gone, most of them vanishing either through acquisition or simply due to lack of audience adoption.
That's surprising, when you think about the sheer volume of social networks that have come our way over the years and the few that remain. Let's face it: There are only a handful of social networks these days that people care about; namely, Facebook, Twitter and, to a certain extent, Google+, even as newcomers like Ello emerge. Some oldies like Myspace and Friendster are still hanging on, but as very different incarnations of themselves. Myspace, for example, is now almost entirely about music discovery, while Friendster currently describes itself as a social gaming site; a far cry from its heyday as one of the "original" social networks.
So what does it take for a social network to resonate with the public? And what makes one succeed where others fail? Here, we examine lessons learned from social networks past and present to see if we can suss out what they should or should not do to prevail in the ever-changing winds of the fickle internet.
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