In 2005, 'Tom' sold MySpace for $870 million. Then he disappeared from the spotlight.

In 2003, the very first major social network was launched.

Created by Tom Andersen and Chris DeWolfe, MySpace was the dominant networking site that allowed people to connect with each other online. 

What made it stand out from other sites at the time (apart from the fact that there simply wasn't anything else like it) was that MySpace didn't just allow, but encouraged musicians to promote themselves.

In short, MySpace introduced new music to the world and launched the careers of plenty of musicians and artists, from Lady Gaga and Lily Allen, to Katy Perry and The Killers. Heck, it even influenced social media itself, as a first of its kind.

But there was another person who shot to stardom thanks to the platform: Tom, who was quite literally the first friend we all had when we signed up to the social networking site. His smiling image popped up on every user's page — making his face just about as ubiquitous as the MySpace logo itself 21 years later.

Despite being one of the most recognisable faces and the creator of one of the world's most iconic social media sites, Tom is not nearly as much in the public eye these days as he once was when he was... literally everybody's friend.

In fact, since he parted ways with the company he helped build from the ground up, he's all but vanished from the public eye.

How to improve your daughter's body image. Post continues after video. 

Video via Mamamia.

In 2005, Tom sold the digital platform to News Corp for a cool AUD $870 million. Of course, he didn't personally bank all of that money, but he remained to run MySpace. He eventually retired from the company in 2009.

While Myspace quickly became obsolete over the next few years, News Corp still managed to sell it to Viant for $53 million, who would then go on to sell it to Time for an amount that wasn't disclosed.

Reflecting on selling the company, Tom confessed he didn't feel the timing was the best decision. 


"The wise thing, in terms of money, [would have been] to not sell in 2005. People misremember the facts — they're like, 'Oh. You sold just in time.' No we didn't! We were still the biggest website in 2008," he said.

"In 2007, we were the biggest in the world and nobody even looked like a competitor... [We could have sold for billions]."

He continued, saying that once he sold, he "lost a measure of control".

"I wanted the control. I didn't want to give it up and once we sold, I lost a measure of control. Things happened that I didn't want to happen so I probably wouldn't have made that decision."

In retrospect, however, he is grateful for how his experience with MySpace played out.

"What if things went wrong?" he said of choosing to walk away. "So the decision was made for me. I have more money than I'll ever need or could spend. I feel like I didn't have to make that hard decision.

"I had to struggle with it being made but now I'm like, life is so good and easy and wonderful."


Thanks to his success with the social media platform, Tom's been out of the public eye and in retirement for about a decade — and now at the ripe old age of 53, he has pursued a new career path in photography, according to his Instagram.

As for what is to come, in 2023 it was announced that Tom and his MySpace co-founder Chris — along with a few other people who helped make the platform a success in the early naughties — will be part of a documentary on the social media website.

Director Tommy Avallone told Deadline"I remember being on Myspace in the beginning. In fact, Myspace is where I first started talking to my now-wife.

"It was an amazing time — before our phones took over our lives, the internet was fun, not a responsibility," he added. 

"Myspace was a party you could only join by sitting at a computer and I'm very excited to tell the origin story of who we have become through social media. I've already put together my Myspace playlist of bangers."

So while contrary to popular belief, Tom hasn't exactly "vanished", the tech entrepreneur is very content living in his bubble where the world of social media — the exact thing that made him famous — can't get to him.

Feature Image: MySpace.

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