MySpace is the Google of social networking

I've tuned out a lot of the chatter about social networks. Sure, I'm involved in some, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and the afterMFI site on Ning. But beyond my personal use of them, social networks just don't captivate my attention.

Even so, I was caught off-guard by an analyst report from Hitwise stating that in December, nearly three-quarters of U.S. social networking traffic was on MySpace. That's huge.

Hitwise calls itself "the leading online competitive intelligence service," and it sends out periodic updates about things like retail traffic, search-engine traffic, and so-on. For example, last week it told me that Google has 65.98% of all U.S. based searches, followed by Yahoo (20.88%), MSN (7.04%) and Ask.com (4.14%).

If Hitwise is to be believed, MySpace's lock on social networking is comparable to Google's lock on search. Here are the numbers for December 2007: MySpace (72.32%), Facebook (16.03%), Bobo (1.09%), and down from there.

I've never even heard of Bobo. Turns out that it's a dating service.

Hitwise also said that while MySpace's traffic declined slightly (by 8%) from December 2006, FaceBook jumped (by 51%). We can attribute that to Facebook's opening up its network to more than students. There are a lot of professionals using the service now, which is starting to resemble LinkedIn, which didn't appear in Hitwise's results.

>> Update: I misread the Hitwise report. The third most popular social networking site is Bebo.com, not Bobo.com. Darn that small type!


Alexa Weber Morales said...

I just posted a comment on your Facebook page that applies here... MySpace, perhaps by virtue of timing, the focus on bands/music, and the ability to radically customize the individual page, is really unparalleled as a network for musicians. I have made really valuable contacts via MySpace. LinkedIn, of course, is useful as a resume repository for my IT/editorial work. But Apple's Garageband was a failure (they recently relaunched it as iLike). Just goes to show that online social networks, like real ones, evolve around distinct communities.

Alan Zeichick said...

You know, I never checked out that GarageBand site. Certainly there's not much buzz around it.

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Co-founder and editorial director of BZ Media, which publishes SD Times, the leading magazine for the software development industry. Founder of SPTechCon: The SharePoint Technology Conference, AnDevCon: The Android Developer Conference, and Big Data TechCon. Also president and principal analyst of Camden Associates, an IT consulting and analyst firm.