Posts Tagged ‘myspace’

Shakeout in Social Media

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Facebook is kicking sand in MySpace face.  And walking away with the prizes, too. Twitter has leveled off heading into fall — a lull?  or a ceiling?

Hitwise recent research shows some huge changes in the social media world over the past year. Facebook’s surge seems to be continuing as it climbs toward 400 million subscribers worldwide. First, here’s the numbers as reported in Online Media Daily:

chartOMD-1012a-475

The fall of MySpace must make Rupert Murdock’s teeth ache.  It still has lots of loyalty (a class-leading time on site nearly 30 minutes), but the numbers are hard to look at from an ad network’s point of view.  Nothing here about the demographics on MySpace, but my guess is it stills skews very young which makes it a good target for lots of products aiming at the college kids and younger.

Facebook, though, is catching on with the older crowd.  Fastest growing group on FB is 55+ — all those jokes about Grandma spying on her grandkids by getting on Facebook have been overtaken by the reality that Grandma’s circle of friends is getting into the game as well.  And Facebook is still about personal networks of friends keeping up with each other efficiently and in a convenient way online.

Twitter Popularity

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

For all other commentators and I raise expectations of great things from Twitter, it has not yet made the big breakthrough to popularity in numbers.  Not that 20 million subscribers is puny!  But research published today by the Center for Media Research (based on a Harris poll) indicates Twitter is still reaching a small proportion of the audience, even among the 18 – 34 year old early adopters.

While 74% of the 18 – 34 group report having a Facebook or MySpace account, only 8% of them subscribe to Twitter and just 4% use it to send messages.  Twitter use to send messages is actually a bit higher among 35 – 44 year olds, at 5%, but the use of it drops to 1% or less for everyone over 45.

I still think Twitter will prove to be a game changer.  I don’t think it’s primarily a communication tool, however, which is what Facebook is.  It is a news source, and a search tool.  And as it grows (OK, if it grows) it will gather enough volume to allow specialized conversations about narrow topics of intense interest to any number of groups.  General news will spread virally among the groups through their interconnections, and search tools will capture information about queries in almost real time.

At some point, nobody will tweet about what they had for breakfast.  But they will report interesting things to people who care about the same things.

Will Facebook become ‘Uncool’? Does it matter?

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Advertising Age posts some data about Facebook and MySpace becoming more evenly populated by the generations.  What was once the outpost of mostly young people (after all, Facebook started as a college-only networking tool), is fast becoming a communication tool for people of all ages.

The largest group now on Facebook is aged 35 – 44, and the fastest growing segment is age 55+.  Don’t have your parents in your network if you don’t want them to hear about that long weekend fling, OK?  Some very interesting inter-generational things going on here.

But is it really ‘uncool’?  Not yet.  The numbers only show that the older generations are catching up.  Facebook is still the #1 Internet destination for college aged people, ahead of Google and Yahoo.  The big numbers are there for ALL generations, so if you target youth, go for it.  If you want to aim at their parents, still go for it, knowing that the proportion you will reach is less than for the young set (but growing).

As always, stay tuned.  This is moving so fast that we could see that sharply UP trajectory for Facebook to turn sharply down overnight as people get tired of keeping up with their online networks.  Or, what might have the same effect, prune them back to what they really wanted in the first place:  a network for real friends only which would be in most cases much smaller, much less ‘viral’.

The Social Media Traffic Update

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Yup, it’s up. Latest ComScore data as reported on the ClickZ network shows an overall gain of 13% in unique visitors to social networking sites in 2008 vs. 2007, compared with a gain of 4% in total Internet audience. (Some of us remember when the total audience was growing double digits every year — yikes!  this Internet thing is maturing — digg down for the competition to heat up, folks!)

The details in the horserace are interesting. In the first place, nearly every social networking site they tracked had substantial gains for the year.  The biggest traffic sites continue to be #1 MySpace with a 10% gain and #2 Facebook with a 57% gain — which confirms our earlier post about how Facebook is taking it to MySpace.  Facebook is growing fast from a large base, and that’s impressive.

The only losers in the chart are Yahoo Groups (minus 13%), Webshots (minus 21%), and bringing up the rear, Windows Live Spaces (a whopping minus 57%).  Poor Microsoft.  Another loser.

Internet Participation Across Generations

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

In an interesting bit of research recently published, the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that Internet participation has been increasing across ALL generations.  No surprise, the younger you are the more likely you go online using more channels (there’s a lot more 20-somethings at MySpace than there are older boomers).  But important to note that age is almost irrelevant to some kinds of online activities, like researching products:  all ages do that at about the same rate.

In other words, SEARCH and using online resources to learn about products and services is so common at all ages that it is a MUST for marketers no matter what you are marketing.

Greg Sterling over at Search Engine Land posted some nice graphics about Pew’s Generations Online project.  I’ll share a couple tidbits here, but you might want to check it out.

It wasn’t surprising to me that the Gen X (ages 33-44) and younger Boomers (ages 45-54) make up a big chunk of the adult Internet population (45% of it between them), although the younger Gen Y group is proportionally larger (ages 18-32 with 30%).  And it wasn’t too surprising to see the pattern of certain Internet activities across these generations:  the younger you are the more likely to play online games, use social networking sites, or create a blog.

But what was a little surprising, and encouraging, was that for some activities, there is very little difference in participation rates across generations.  94% of Gen Y use email; 91% of the Silent Generation (ages 64-72) do.  90% of Gen Y use search engines; 85% of Silent.  65% of Gen Y makes online travel reservations; Silent: 69%.  Research products online:  Gen Y – 84%; Silent – 73%.

You get the picture.  Why it matters is this:  the activities that are most likely to lead to sales are common across generations.  Until we get a better handle on how to use all the social sharing, social networking, social news sites out there for marketing products, this will probably continue to be true.  And the change toward social media marketing is not going to be an easy road — the participants in those networks are sophisticated about their independence, and they (mostly) do not want direct marketing appeals.

We are left with limited options for social media marketing.  One important avenue is brand development.  Companies that operate in niches where they can have an impact via brand can benefit from participating in social media.

Of course, then they have to actually participate actively and faithfully, and that’s another story.

Facebook Doubles Down on MySpace

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Michael Arrington at TechCrunch reported yesterday that Facebook is now twice the size of MySpace worldwide, measured by monthly unique visitors. MySpace is still #1 in the U.S., but extrapolating the traffic data predicts that Facebook will overtake it sometime later this year.  Facebook’s registered users has been growing explosively.

However, MySpace users also used their social network much more intensively.  According to socialmedia blog, MySpace users spent 17.5 billion minutes online compared with 9.3 billion minutes for Facebook, generating 40 billion pageviews compared with Facebook’s 18 billion.

Anyway you look at it, these are staggering numbers.  MySpace claims it is succeeding in monetizing this traffic, while Facebook continues to push for user growth.  For me, the more interesting thing is how these giants will push my world around.  We already know that social media generate the huge buzz we depend on for ‘viral’ marketing with content syndication and links between publishers (see the two above?).  But how is that going to affect the core function of search in the online world?

I don’t think Google is worried.  But search functions can become a lot more specialized.  Think about looking for real time insights into a developing event:  wouldn’t you search Twitter?

Social Network Growth Stats

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Here’s a link to social network traffic reports by Nielsen Wire, courtesy of Jeremiah Owyang.  These are all still growing like the emerging markets they are (fast, in other words), with MySpace still king of the hill.  But MySpace is too big to grow fast (“mature” doesn’t seem right for it, somehow, but that’s the analogy to the stage of economic development for you).  Twitter is the growth leader, followed by tagged.com, Ning, and LinkedIn. Interesting tidbit on the network profiles:  Facebook, LinkedIn, and Reunion.com are most popular among visitors ages 25-34, 35-49, and 55-64, respectively.

MySpace in Sp*m Attack?

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

$390 million dollars. That’s the value of the civil suits MySpace won recently against a couple low lifers running phishy scams against MySpace users.

Will they collect? Probably not, but they are aggressively going after the big time spammers. Here’s why.