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Coded by an 18-year-old, SpaceHey aims to bring back the vibe and community feel of MySpace, which has come to symbolise pre-Facebook simplicity and wholesomeness. The platform speaks to a desire for niche spaces on the internet away from the problems of mainstream sites. We explore the insights behind why people are yearning for nostalgic tech.

SpaceHey – which launched in November 2020 and already has more than 110,000 users – harkens back to the simpler times of 'Top 8s' and customisable profiles. “I came to the conclusion that you can't find something like [MySpace] nowadays, where everyone can be this creative,” says creator An. This resurgence points to a sweeping nostalgia for the ‘old internet’ and a desire for digital spaces that align with how young people prefer to interact online. As Laura Holliday writes for VICE: “Blend this with general Y2K nostalgia under the 20-year cycle, plus the influx of new, distinct aesthetics from e-girls to cottagecore, and you have the recipe for why Gen Zers yearn for the Myspace experience they missed the first time around.” 

Nostalgia has been a common thread throughout the pandemic as people reminisce about simpler times
C Technical (2021) ©

This nostalgia for the past has been a common thread throughout the pandemic as people reminisce about simpler times – vinyl saw a resurgence in the first half of 2020, while the Pikachu x Baby-G mash-up is serving up a classic collaboration for Gen Yers. But a yearning for the internet of yore also highlights a distrust of Big Tech platforms. Indeed, while Facebook usage has been on the up or relatively constant among people aged 35 and up, for those between the ages of 12 and 34, it dropped from 79% in 2017 to 62% in 2019. With Gen Zers, in particular, eager for a break from the pressure of modern-day social media, there's an opportunity for brands to tap into nostalgia as a way to connect and elicit an emotional response.

Rachel Ousley is Associate Insight Director at Canvas8, which specialises in behavioural insights and consumer research. A San Francisco native, she worked in communications before getting her Masters in Social Cognition from UCL. Outside of work, she loves live music, learning about true crime, and drinking good wine.

Canvas8

24 Feb 21
2 min read

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