Ah, Myspace. Just the name makes me nostalgic. Despite being virtually nonexistent at this point, Myspace paved the way for many modern social platforms. From to , Myspace was the largest social networking site in the world.
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For an entire generation, MySpace was a gateway to the addictive social networking platforms that are now a ubiquitous feature of our lives. And for many members of that same generation, MySpace was a gateway to another inescapable part of modern life—writing code. But of all the features that made MySpace the cultural sensation that it was, the ability to style a profile page with HTML and CSS might have left the biggest footprint behind. For tens of millions of people, tinkering with anchor and style tags to personalize a MySpace profile was an introduction to code as a means to solving a problem, to expressing something about yourself, or to just experimenting and seeing what happened. The flat-out necessity of having a customized profile brought forth an entire ecosystem of theme sellers and HTML tutorial writers, early pioneers in their own right who commodified their coding knowledge while convincing millions that writing code was something they could do too. Changing the styling of your MySpace profile was a way to distinguish yourself from your friends. But as the most popular of the bunch by far, with over million active users at its peak, MySpace was the standard-bearer, and the one that left the biggest legacy behind.