I was skimming through my emails last night when something caught my eye.
It was a message from a time that has long since vanished from the minds of most millennials: a time when you could customize your background, play Sean Paul songs to welcome people to your page, and organize your life into a Top Friends list that never caused any drama among friends.
It was an email from MySpace, telling me that my account may have been hacked.
My first reaction was to laugh… you know, because MySpace (how are they still around??). My second thought was that it was some sort of Phishing attempt: someone trying to get me to click a link that would lead to the demise of my precious Macbook.
So I Googled it, and sure enough, all of the major tech sites were reporting on a hack at MySpace. It was a pretty serious data breach, actually. The hackers were able to get their hands on email addresses, Myspace usernames, and Myspace passwords for more than 360 million accounts.
Luckily, Myspace doesn’t store credit card info or anything like that, so you’re really only at risk if you still use the same passwords from a decade ago. The company’s email also notes that the hack only affected accounts created prior to June 11, 2013, which, of course, raises an obvious question: who are these people signing up for MySpace in the modern world?
Curious as to what could motivate such a person, I typed myspace.com into my url bar and hit Enter. What I found was site that’s drastically different from the one I remember. Gone was the spartan home layout, replaced by articles about music and pop culture.
As my eyes wandered to a headline proclaiming, “Elon Musk is a Frickin’ Alien, Guys”, I was hit by a sudden realization: for the first time since 2007, I was actually spending time on MySpace.
Granted, I didn’t actually click on any of the articles, and I doubt I’ll be returning any time soon. But for those few minutes, MySpace was once again relevant to me — a feat they probably couldn’t have pulled off without getting hacked.
And now I’m writing about it, as are dozens of other blogs and news websites. So despite all of the stress it’s probably causing over at MySpace, this hack is the single most effective marketing ploy the company has had in years.
It’s like they say: any publicity is good publicity. And that’s even more true when you’re a relic of the old world, desperately trying to recapture the attention of the cool kids.