[Air-L] What went wrong with Multiply?

danah boyd aoir.z3z at danah.org
Thu Jul 21 16:24:32 PDT 2011

Multiply was launched in the States but quickly became popular in the Philippines (and other South Asian / Pac Island countries) pretty quickly; it competed with Friendster pretty heavily for a while and then it got bought by some other company and became stale (keep in mind: all social network sites that had to go through a sales transition lost serious ground in the process).  They tried to differentiate themselves from competitors by basically throwing in every social feature known to man.  This overload worked for some, but also made it unappealing for others.  Classic story of SNS competition at the time.

And Jeremy's right - it was always about consumerism and the features that it had were nothing new (just like G+'s features are nothing new).  

What folks never seem to remember in this space is that it's *NEVER* about the features.  It's about the cultural dynamics.


On Jul 21, 2011, at 10:55 AM, Nicholas John wrote:

> I'm doing some historical work on social network sites using the Wayback
> Machine and I've come across a site called Multiply. Today Multiply is much
> more about shopping than it is a full-blown SNS, but it's fascinating to
> look at what it was offering in 2004 - it's About page is basically a
> description of what we do on Facebook today.
> Most interestingly, though, is the level of granularity it offered in terms
> of who could see our posts (not dissimilar to Google+'s circles, which
> everyone is so excited about in that it solves a problem in Facebook). For
> each post you can specify who can see it at quite a remarkable degree of
> granularity (everyone; your network, your contacts, or a custom list). It
> also, in 2004, promises alerts when someone in your network does something
> (i.e., a news feed).
> Was anyone here on that site in those days? Does anyone know what happened
> to it given that they really seemed to have online social networking fairly
> sussed seven years ago. I'd be very interested to find out...
> Thanks
> Nicholas
> _______________
> Dr. Nicholas John
> sociothink.com
> @nicholasajohn
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"taken out of context, i must seem so strange" -- ani

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