Tom Anderson, A.K.A myspace Tom - Your first digital friend. Remember when social networks didn't spy on you?
Tom Anderson Biography highlighting the highs and lows of his life. He might just be the worlds most boring millionaire.
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- Early Life
- Before myspace
- Intermix Media
- Myspaces Success
- After Myspace
- Tom Anderson FAQ
- How much is Tom Anderson worth?
- What is Tom from Myspace doing now?
- How old is Tom Anderson?
- How much did myspace Tom sell myspace for?
- How do I contact Tom from myspace?
- Myspace FAQ
- Who currently owns myspace?
- What happened to myspace?
- When was myspace created?
- Why did myspace fail?
- How much did Tom sell myspace for?
- Who still uses myspace?
- What is myspace?
- How do I reactivate my old myspace account?
You may be thinking “WHO THE FUCK IS TOM ANSDERSON?!?” but 90’s kids will know.
Long before we had Instagram, twitter, Snap Chat or even Facebook we had the choice of wasting our youth on Bebo, Friendster or myspace.
Bebo was shit, some sort of thing you would find your teacher on. Friendster was also branded poorly, cool kids would never be seen on there.
So that left myspace, and when you first made a myspace account you had 1 friend. Tom Anderson, the co-creator of myspace. If you want to know more about a man who made friends with millions of young kids online without being arrested, you’re in luck.
This is Toms story, written by me. From a couple of dozen news sources. Tom Anderson is also boring, lets call him “myspace Tom”.
Myspace Tom was born in 1970, near Santa Monica, California. As a teenager he was into computers and programming in general showing a natural aptitude for code. As a teenager this lead to attracting the attention of the FBI under his hacking name of “Lord Flathead” when he cracked the security of Chase Manhattan.
Tom studied some silly English course at Berkeley, then went on to become the lead singer of a band called Swank.
He then moved away from California to Taiwan, before returning and getting another degree. This time round it was for Critical Film Studies at UCLA.
In the year 2000, while studying at UCLA myspace Tom answered a job advert for a product tester and copywriter for XDrive, a small data storage startup which went bankrupt in 2001.
While working at XDrive Tom met a man called Chris DeWolfe who would later go on to found myspace with Tom.
After XDrive went out of business, Tom and Chris founded a direct marketing company called “ResponseBase” which is still successful today. The company quickly found traction as a market leading direct response framework and in September 2002 they sold their business to “eUniverse” for an undisclosed sum.
Chris and Tom both moved to eUniverse after the sale, but quickly went on and started work on Myspace.
For those that have heard of myspace but were not there in the beginning you were missed out. I can say right now as a 14-year-old I love it and it’s responsible for the reason I got into what I do now.
Now for a 14 year old of that era, my profile was important. It was how a lot of the girls in my small town would first see me. Adding people and becoming friends with them on myspace because they looked fit was very common.
But anyway, back to Tom.
Tom, Chris and a few staff members from eUniverse started Myspace. The original idea behind the site was to help bands connect with fans. The first basic features allowed users to create blogs, interactive profiles (with auto playing music because f00k it why n0t) and publish posts on the website.
Myspace was officially launched in January 2004, with Tom as the president and Chris as the CEO. Their main competitor was Friendster, who was a popular site at the time which had just started to become a bit of a spam magnet and introducing a lot of rules which didn’t please all its users.
People were looking for a new digital home just as Myspace came to fruition. Friendster had just shut down 25,000 fake accounts. These accounts included fan pages, parody accounts, people made profiles for their pets and other things like this.
Myspace had no privacy options, no one had to register to see content and profile. It was also much more relaxed with Tom using his contacts in the music industry there were 1000’s of bands and fans joining the social network within days of launch.
Myspace is credited with the success of the band, The Arctic Monkeys. Who started a myspace page when the platform launched. They quickly grew a huge online community through their myspace page and message board they set up within the platform.
They used the platform to share new music and information before they had a record label. The band recognised the power of this new online world and started to share photos, tour information and uploaded their music for people to stream.
They were signed by a record label shortly after this, their first album was released in 2006 and it became the fastest selling album in UK history.
Shortly after the launch, Tom founded another company which would go on and help market Myspace to millions of people and help grow their social network. This company was called “Intermix Media”.
Exactly how they did that isn’t really known, but in 2005 Eliot Spitzer filed a lawsuit against Intermix Media alleging the company was the source of spyware that sent pop up adverts and other intrusions to millions of computer users.
Intermix Media settled out of court for $7.9 million. But did not go on to admit guilt.
With Toms background and previous issues surrounding hacking (see Chase bank issue above) it’s been suspected that pop-up advertisements and bot nets were used to promote Myspace to kids, but from my research I can’t see any proof of this.
Myspace was a huge hit. Users loved the customisability of the site, it also became huge for bands and fans alike with huge artists such as R.E.M and 9 Inch Nails publishing first releases of their songs on the site trying to jump on the internets hot new thing.
As the site grew corporate marketers were starting to see the potential of what myspace could be. Tom said in an interview with Fortune that "We'd get calls from investor types who wanted to meet us. They would say, 'Your site isn't professional. Why do you let users control the pages? They're so ugly!'"
But this was what people loved. The freewheeled nature of the platform was incredible. People were embracing everything had to offer, the quirkiness and chaos the site had was what gave myspace its charm.
In January 2005, myspace hit 10 million users. Every myspace user upon sign up was automatically added and friended by Tom. The account also sent them a welcome message sharing some tips to get started with myspace.
Vanity Fair wrote an article stating that the number of friends people had on the site became a social currency, that the platform had changed how the youth of the time share and connect with each other. “They blog, flirt, diarize, post pictures, videos, personal artwork, songs, poetry, and generously distribute complements and insults”.
In 2005 for a short period of time Myspace became the most used website on the internet, passing Google in traffic. Tom said “I don't want to say it's overwhelming but I see these numbers coming out, I keep thinking, it must be a mistake. How can we pass Google? I mean, my mom knows Google, but she doesn't know MySpace”.
Their success made it increasingly attractive to corporate investors and buyers. Later that year a Richard Murdoch company “News Corporation” acquired myspace and its parent company for $580 million.
After the sale Tom continued his president role and the company was moved from Santa Monica to Beverly Hills, sharing offices with Fox Interactive Media.
The media called it a good move for News Corporation, who had been looking for opportunities to market and capture a younger audience who traditionally don’t buy news papers who watch much news on TV. People were also concerned at the time, worried that myspace would change from it’s indie and underground roots to something more corporate.
Growth continued, in 2006 Myspace had 106 million users and around 230,000 new people were joining every day. As the first real popular social network website this brought its own challenges, before long parents, community groups and governments were concerned about what exactly was going on. These were problems the world had not had before.
The main concern about the site was that it was making it extremely easy for child predators to connect with young children. This led to Tom leading a project which would end up being the first centralised database of child predators in the world.
Development continued at myspace under the News Corporation ownership, "Before, I could do whatever I wanted," Anderson told Sellers in Fortune . "Now it takes more time to get people to agree on things. All the budget reviews and processes. That can be a pain. But it's not stopping us."
With the added power of News Corporation Tom and Chris were in talks with record labels about forming a partnership to help artists get signed. They were also pushing a film/video feature that would help creators find audiences and were in talks with mobile networks about wireless technology to help users access myspace profiles from their phones, this was before real mobile internet remember.
Reuters quoted an unnamed News Corp executive as saying: "Tom was responsible for the product but ended up being a complete bottleneck on getting things done”. Things didn’t seem to be going too well.
In 2009 Tom was replaced by News Corporation. After he left his profile was replaced by “Today On Myspace” (T.O.M) as the default friend for new sign ups.
As time went on users left myspace, seemingly growing out of it and moving to Facebook which was cleaner and had actual adults and people you work with on there, I guess my generation grew up. Myspace was sold by News Corporation in 2011 for a rumoured $35 million. Rupert Murdoch called the myspace purchase a “huge mistake”.
Justin Timberlake was part of the take over from News Corporation, shortly after playing Sean Parker in “The social network”.
Since then myspace has been bought and sold by several people and reinvented many times, never capturing the success it had while Tom was there. It seems to have kept true to its roots of helping music artists create and connect with fans, but other platforms like SoundCloud, Spotify, iTunes and more kind of do that better.
When Tom left myspace, he disappeared and seems to have retired.
In May 2012, Tom announced he joined the board of RocketFrog as an advisor. They were a small LA based company who created a facebook app but in 2014 during an interview he did not mention any advisor roles he was part of at the time.
In 2017 his twitter bio included the word “retired”, which we all pretty much guessed.
Tom stated in an interview after being asked if he would ever return to tech that “I'll never say 'never' because, more than anything, I like the idea that anything can happen. I don't know exactly where my life will lead. Adventure and the unknown has always been appealing to me.”
Since then, Tom seems to have picked up Photography and spends his time travelling.
He did the silicon valley thing, got paid, got out and now travels banging girls in every continent. Living the dream.
Tom Anderson FAQ
How much is Tom Anderson worth?
Toms net worth is said to be around $60 million. While myspace sold for a huge amount, he didn’t own much stake in the company. The majority of the $580 million it sold for went to his old boss at eUniverse.
What is Tom from Myspace doing now?
Tom is traveling the world, as a retired and rich man taking photos and playing music.
How old is Tom Anderson?
Tom Anderson was born in 1975, he is 44 years old.
How much did myspace Tom sell myspace for?
How do I contact Tom from myspace?
Tweet him or some shit.
Who currently owns myspace?
Myspace is part of the Meredith Corporation, who also own a bunch of magazines and a recipe website.
What happened to myspace?
Users found better places to be and it didn’t reinvent itself.
When was myspace created?
August 1st, 2003.
Why did myspace fail?
I think there was a combination of factors. Rivals like Twitter and Facebook both kept creating, adding new features and reinventing ways for its users to connect and share. Myspace was always just myspace, new things were added but it was never really innovating beyond its launch.
I also think their audience just grew out of it. I personally tried several things like black and white flashing backgrounds to try and make my epileptic friend have a fit at his computer. Other people did similar autistic shit with auto playing sex noises on their profiles. People got bored and went to the cleaner more “professional” facebook.
How much did Tom sell myspace for?
Tom Anderson sold myspace for $580 million to News Corporation. Our boy did good.
Who still uses myspace?
Myspaces’ current form is some sort of music/entertainment news website. It’s moved on from the social network it used to be which is a good move, that battle is lost.
What is myspace?
Some sort of entertainment news website. Also a hell of an expired domain to pick up one day and reinvent into a rope blog.
How do I reactivate my old myspace account?
Sorry, all your old pictures are gone. This is not something myspace offers anymore, you’re going to need to find your childhood cringe photos elsewhere.
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