I spent a little while playing on compete.com and found the following charts rather interesting. I decided to compare the trends of a few popular social networking sites such as myspace, twitter, facebook, youtube, and linkedin. It’s really interesting to see the growth or decline of these sites. When looking at the graphs ask yourself what may have caused the following trends. I also added a brief commentary under each graph, I didn’t want to go in too much detail, but still, I gave my 2 cents.
Myspace is still the top social networking site with around 60 million monthly views but their overall traffic is dropping fast. I have a Myspace profile, but since Myspace has gone heavy on the spam advertising, I stopped using it. Perhaps many other users feel the same way. Myspace knows that their traffic levels are sinking and many of you may have noticed their recent site redesign to compete with facebook and hopefully bring back some of their lost traffic. I’m still not sure Myspace quite gets it, they are all over the place and their advertsiging is just out of control.
Facebook is still growing a steady pace if they keep on track then eventually they should surpass myspace in traffic, that is, unless facebook starts to go ad crazy. I think people are starting to understand the use of facebook as a professional networking site and not just as a fun social utility. Many of the college students that were the first facebook users have begun using facebook for job searching, communicating with future employers, etc. I still prefer linkedin for my professional networking because facebook still has a lot of junk and kiddie applications that annoy me. I am curious to see where facebook is headed though.
Ah yes, twitter, my friend. I definitely am an active twitter user and have found it to be a most valuable resource for sharing information, networking, learning from others, and staying up to date on industry news and trends. Twitter’s traffic is still nowhere near that of facebook or myspace, but I am glad to see the positive upward trend. Now if they can just get their act together and figure out what’s going in all of their down times and outages. Oh, and a business model would be good too 🙂
Linkedin is my professional networking tool of choice. I use it to ask my connections questions, answer other people’s questions, find clients, and meet other industry professionals. Their traffic is taking a slight dip but I’m confident in their business model and in their ability to provide value to the end users. Again, I am very curious to see what linkedin will look like in the next few years.
You know, to be perfectly honest I’m not a huge Youtube user. I will go on their site every now and then to look at few things, but other than that I would not call myself a Youtube-r. I can definitely see the value and utility in it, both for businesses and individuals. Everyone on Youtube is trying to create the next “viral” video and I don’t think anyone has or will ever figure out a secret formula for it. That being said I think business should be a bit more prudent when putting up videos. Avoid the boring scripted tutorials, or the brief 30 second company pitches, try to provide something of value. There are plenty of tutorials out there done by individuals, not companies, that are great. They are great because they are real and that is what people want.
We can see that the overall trend of many of the popular social networking sites is relatively healthy, which is great. Social networking sites have definitely come a long way and I still think we have a long way to go. More and more social networking sites are beginning to spring up, so the traffic is going to eventually dilute among other sites. Still, I am looking forward to see the continued evolution of social networks.
Thanks for reading