- Text Elise Bang
- Design Keya Shah
Let us take a moment to celebrate the beloved sites and applications that undeniably shaped our digital footprints. (Hey, what was my Xanga password again?) Some have endured the test of (internet) time, and some have been sent off into the virtual sunset, but we’ll always look back with nostalgia, joy and even a bit of cringe on our deactivated Geocities pages, Neopets accounts and BBM archives. From entertainment platforms to social networking sites, these destinations were the forerunners of today’s most popular apps. Here lie the ones gone far too soon.
AOL Instant Messenger (AIM)
b. May 1997 - d. December 2017
Our first taste of being online 24/7. Remember the after school rush to log on and keep the conversation going with your friends? Pour one out for the Buddy List and the moody song lyrics in your away message.
Outlived by Instagram DMs 👀
b. August 2003 - d. Arguably 2008
We’ll be forever marked by Myspace’s golden years of 2005 to 2008, when it was the largest social networking site in the world and introduced the concept of your “Top 8” There was a minor resurgence in 2013 with a pivot to music and video content, but our favorite Myspace bands, first profile song and of course, Tom, will live in our hearts forever.
Outlived by Facebook and Instagram
b. October 2005 - d. March 2017
This multiplayer online game influenced a generation of internet users. We waddled around as penguins, met new friends and played mini games until the famous iceberg tipped (If you know, you know).
Outlived by Roblox
b. November 2009 - d. May 2013
The anonymous question box site that earned a reputation as a high school cyberbullying nightmare. We’ll never forget the brave teens that posted “Ask me a question <3.”
Outlived by the Reddit AMA
B. January 2013 01/24/13 - d. October 2016
Though its life was tragically cut short, Vine’s innovative, short-form video legacy lives on through now-iconic memes and postmortem YouTube compilations that, as the internet hive mind says, “cured my depression.”
Outlived by TikTok
b. November 2013 - d. circa April 2017
This smartphone app created anonymous public thread conversations within a five-mile radius, which would disappear only by netting enough downvotes. We will cherish upvoting our favorite hyperlocal gossip. Rest in “Yak.”
Outlived by Twitter subtweets
b. March 2020 - d. June 2021
Like a candle in the wind, this invite-only audio talkspace app burned bright during the Covid-19 pandemic as a way to foster authentic community connections, then dimmed when the “crypto bros” took over. They IPO everything, don’t they?
Outlived by group chat voice memos