Mentioning “Myspace” conjures of memories of a simpler age: An age of iPods, LiveJournals, and AIM away-message lyrics.
And no nostalgic conversation about the days of Myspace would be complete without mention of Myspace founder Tom Anderson (better known as “Myspace Tom”). Myspace was the most popular social networking site in the mid-2000s. If you ever used the site, you may recall that Tom became your first friend by default after you signed up for an account.
But who was this mysterious “Tom” and where is he now? We tracked down the famous Tom from Myspace to find out:
Who is Myspace Tom (aka Tom Anderson)?
Tom Anderson co-founded Myspace back in 2003 at age 33. Before creating the social media site, Anderson gained some notoriety after hacking the computer system at Chase Manhatten Bank at the tender age of 13. Because he was a minor, he was never arrested for the incident.
Drawing inspiration from another social network called “Friendster”, Anderson and fellow co-founder Chris DeWolfe launched Myspace in 2003. Myspace set itself apart from Friendster by allowing Myspace users to use nicknames and screen names instead of their real names if they so chose.
Within three years of inception, Myspace became the most popular social media platform around. As the default friend when you created an account, Tom’s face quickly became recognizable to internet users around the world.
What happened to Myspace?
Myspace was acquired by Rupert Murdoch News Corp in 2005. Anderson stayed on as the president, but eventually left the company after disputing over creative control. As Anderson explained in an interview with CNN, “We don’t own the site anymore. Before, I could do whatever I wanted. Now it takes more time to get people to agree on things.”
Meanwhile, Myspace had begun to fall in popularity. By 2008, Facebook had overtaken Myspace as the internet’s most popular social network.
So where is Tom from Myspace now?
As you might have guessed, Anderson earned a hefty chunk of money after selling Myspace. According to estimates, the cofounder of Myspace’s current net worth is $60 million. The money has allowed him to retire, move to Hawaii, and pursue his new hobby: travel photography.
Anderson was inspired to become a travel photographer at a Burning Man festival back in 2011. Now, Anderson travels the world, snapping up pics of landscapes from places like Thailand, Iceland, and Bhutan to post on Instagram.