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Web address
Type of site
Social Networking
Registration Optional
Created by Gibby Miller
Launched August 9th, 1999
Revenue Advertisement
Alexa rank
752,860 (April 2015)[1]
Current status Active is widely considered the first niche-audience social network. Launched in 1999 by web designer Gibby Miller, and preceding Friendster, Myspace, and Facebook, Makeoutclub (or MOC) was vital to the early development of profile-based communities, introducing features and concepts (such as user profiles with photos and interests sections) which helped to forge what was later coined "Social Networking". [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


Makeoutclub was founded as a music and subculture social networking site at the turn of the century, providing an online community for youth with similar style and musical tastes, stating on their website: "...for indierockers, hardcore kids, record collectors, artists, bloggers, and hopeless romantics." MOC was created as a platform to bridge the distance between like-minded individuals when the internet was populated with early adopters. Makeoutclub was among the first social networking sites whose members experienced first-hand the stigma associated with meeting others online. [7] Makeoutclub features user profiles, image galleries, message boards, blogs, private mail, and (for several years) music and entertainment news. Despite the site's name, Makeoutclub's owner insisted in the years of the site's infancy that it was not a dating site, but a place to make friends.[8][9] This assertion has been challenged many times over.[10][11][12]

Notes and Facts[edit]

Over the last nearly 15 years, Makeoutclub has been featured in Time Magazine, The Face UK, Spin Magazine, Rolling Stone, and myriads of other publications, as well as several television spots across MTV2, G4 Tech TV, Much Music, and more. Makeoutclub was the focal point and inspiration of Andy Greenwald's book about youth and the "emo" movement: "Nothing Feels Good".

The site was named after the song "Make Out Club" by the band Unrest.[8]

Since its inception, Makeoutclub has continuously been linked to the hipster, emo, and indie subcultures.[13][14][15][16] [17] [18] [19] [20]

Origin and Versions[edit]

(1999) Beta: A beta version of Makeoutclub (abbreviated as MOC) was launched in August, 1999 by web designer Gibby Miller while attending Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, MA. This version was designed as "Makeoutclub" but was hosted privately, the URL given to friends to "leak" for testing purposes before launch. Users submitted a "profile" via email to the Miller and the admins of the site, who then hand-coded the users information into a small profile box that appeared on numbered pages, 10 users per page, divided by "Girls" and "Boys. After word caught on, and the amount of profile submissions grew unmanageable, Miller launched an automated 1.0 version of the site at the URL in July 2000.

(2000) 1.0: Version 1.0 was the "release" version of MOC that featured automated submissions, allowing a queue of prospective members to form, which admins approved on a daily basis. This was done to weed out spam and fake profiles. Version 1 was developed by Paul Stewart, who was living in the same art space as Gibby at the time. Inspired by the power of independent community networks, Paul later went on to found Arck Interactive - a boutique development agency focused on creating custom social and community sites.

(2001) 2.0: Version 2.0 was a bug-fixing and security upgrade, which offered additional features like HTML in profiles and colored usernames.

(2004) 3.0: Version 3.0 added a new design, additional bug fixes, and security upgrades.

(2007) 4.0: Version 4.0 was an entirely new platform, and offered users their own individual profile pages with comments, blogs, and the ability to add and display friends. Users could now add multiple images to a gallery, send private messages to one another, and block other users. This version also introduced multiple forums.

(2008) 5.0: Verstion 5.0 improved upon 4.0 adding private galleries, the ability to "wink" other users, post "shoutouts", create "crush lists" (secret friends lists that reveal the crush connection if two users "crush one another), and search for users in your area (along with user vicinity recommendation).

(2012) 6.0: Version 6.0 went live the evening of April 19th, 2012 as a nod to the "old school", returning to its original color scheme and aesthetic design. The site then required applications for approval (like the original platform did), and became entirely private, requiring login to read the forums or to browse profiles.

(2014) 7.0: Version 7.0 went live on Saturday, February 22nd with an entirely new responsive design and feature set, once again making the site publicly accessible, and restoring archives of old posts and site history as far back as 2002.


Makeoutclub currently has over 130,000 registered users. The site is updated, administered, moderated, and maintained by a group of friends and volunteers, which has rotated throughout the years. On remaining a niche presence in the constantly evolving Social Networking space, Miller says: "Our goals haven't changed in [15] years, we are just keeping up with the times. Now more than ever deep niche communities online deserve the tools and technology the online audience have come to expect. This is a great time for MOC to flourish. Plus, we are geeks and can't help innovating.”[21]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Alexa Ranking". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "When the Internet Was for Strangers". Salon. 
  3. ^ "The relaunch of". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on August 5, 2008. 
  4. ^ "The Evolution and Deaths Of Social Networks". Long Island Press. 
  5. ^ "The History of Social Networking". TechVert. 
  6. ^ "Inventing the Social Network". CBS. 
  7. ^ Edlund, Martin (2005-01-11). "Indie Rock's Tipping Point". The New York Sun. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  8. ^ a b "Music: Let's Make Out!". Portland Mercury. 
  9. ^ "Street Cents checks out the dating scene - online". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2001-11-26. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  10. ^ "Unique & special, just like every one". The Daily Iowan. 
  11. ^ "Online help for love-seeking college Cupids". CNN. Archived from the original on March 11, 2008. 
  12. ^ "The Tangled Web". 
  13. ^ Kelley, Trevor; Simon, Leslie (2007). Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide to Emo Culture. USA: HarperCollins. p. 256. ISBN 0-06-119539-1. 
  14. ^ Lanham, Robert (2003). The_Hipster_Handbook. USA: Anchor Books. p. 176. ISBN 1-4000-3201-6. 
  15. ^ Greenwald, Andy (2003). Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers, and Emo. USA: St. Martin's Press. p. 320. ISBN 0-312-30863-9. 
  16. ^ Greenwald, Andy. "Research: Trend of the Year: Mainstreamo". Retrieved 2003-12-24. 
  17. ^ Hoffman, Kevin. "The Underwear Underground". Archived from the original on March 10, 2008. Retrieved 2004-03-24. 
  18. ^ Hankins, Dewayne. "You better not pout, you better not cry". Archived from the original on November 21, 2007. Retrieved 2001-12-10. 
  19. ^ Tyrangiel, Josh (2002-05-19). "Emotional Rescue". Time. Retrieved 2002-05-19. 
  20. ^ Phillips, Amy. "Fuck Emo Let's Fight". Retrieved 2003-07-22. 
  21. ^ "The relaunch of". Los Angeles Times.