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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Guest Post: Top 10 Social Network and Blog Rankings: 3 Interesting Points

by Ann Handley

The Top 10 US Social Network and Blog Site Rankings were just issued for October, and there were a couple of interesting bits.

First, the highlights, via MarketingCharts:

  • MySpace again wins the Smackdown of top US social networking sites, with more than 58.8 million unique visitors in October, according to custom lists of top US social networking sites and blogs compiled by Nielsen Online.

  • MySpace visitors increased 19 percent year over year.

  • Google's Blogger remains number one in blog site rankings, with 34.1 million visitors, an increase of 58 percent from the year-earlier period.

  • Facebook, ranked second among social networking sites, increased its number of visitors to 19.5 million, up 125 percent vs. Oct. '06.

  • LinkedIn is ranked 6th, growing 189 percent over last year, reaching 4.9 million visitors.

  • My 10-year-old’s favorite social networking site, ClubPenguin, was ranked 9th, growing 157 percent from last October, to nearly 3.9 million penguins. Oops, visitors.

So here are three interesting data points:

The lead dogs are pulling ahead of the pack. the number of visitors to the top 2, MySpace and Facebook, increased from September, whereas those ranked 3rd through 4th (Classmates Online and Windows Live Spaces) decreased visitor numbers slightly from the previous month. (See the September rankings here.)

nielsen-online-oct-top-10-social-networking-sites-us.jpg

Wordpress is kicking A… The little blog company that could, WordPress, has steamrolled up in the rankings to number two, having grown an incredible 444 percent (!) compared with the year-earlier period. It had 11.4 million visitors, up from 2.1 million last year. I’d love some insight on how Wordpress has achieved such tremendous growth – anyone know the backstory?

nielsen-online-oct-top-10-blog-sites-us.jpg

…but so are blogging platforms in general. Six Apart/Type Pad might have dropped to No. 3, but it also grew a respectable 20 percent, to nearly 10.6 million visitors in October.

- - - - -

Ann_handley_2 Ann Handley is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs. She blogs at the MarketingProfs Daily Fix.

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Comments

All good news for us, eh? :)

One reason that I can offer for Word Press's attractiveness is the same reason I switched from blogger to WP: open source. WP is committed to staying open and that means a lot to me and to where I think the internet/new media tools are headed. Good to see more and more people recognizing the great tool!

Cam: Agreed!

Amy: You might be right. But 444 percent?! WOW! That's a lot of people switching.

Ann is awesome. Anyways, I think that Facebook will take over Myspace due to spamming on Myspace. I'm not too fond of blogger, as I moved to Worpress this year.

I have an Alexa plugin for Firefox that shows the Alexa ranking for every website I visit. I have noticed that Blogger has been rising steadily. A few months ago it was 19, now it's 12.

But I'm still surprised that spam and all the 'flashing lights' hasn't sapped MySpace's growth yet. I think it shows that MySpace is still mainstream, and Facebook isn't, at least not yet.

But you guys are right, for a medium that supposed to be 'dying', the blogging platforms seem to be growing like weeds.

To Mack's point, I don't think SPAM will chase many away from MySpace or any space that meets people's wants and needs in the key areas that lure people in the first place. I suspect most of us are growing immune to it, and when we see it and momentarily annoyed and then we move on.

I think there is also a latent reputation factor going into the blogs on different platforms. What platform you use says something about you - so my question: is there such a thing as blog platform stereotypes? For example:

Blogger: cheap, personal, nonprofessional
Wordpress: opensource, tech saavy
Typepad: professional, business-oriented

Are these true? When I am researching blogs, I already find myself assuming more credibility from blogs on Typepad simply because I know the blogger had to pay for their service ... which means they are inherently serious about their blog. On other platforms, because they are free, you have a mix of serious bloggers, and abandoned blogs. Am I turning into a blog platform elitist?

I have seen better business interaction on Facebook than I have on other social networking sites such as LinkedIn. In fact, I have been able to reconnect with many business contacts via Facebook, including some I couldn't reach by email or phone. If that is par for the course, I would expect Facebook to continue to rise because it meets people's needs.

Great post, Ann! :-)

I also feel that one should choose the platform based on their intention (professional or personal).

My personal experience has been that Facebook is most conducive to personal and professional networking.

Interesting stats and info. It helps to get updated and keep abreast with the changes. Thanks for the insights! :)

Exciting stats! Reminds me why I am a marketer. = )

Could VOIS.com become another Facebook?

Since the advent of social networking sites in 1997, the phenomenon has taken the world by storm. Once called a passing fad social networking is now a thriving business, in 2006, alone it garnered over $6.5 billion in revenue, while the three biggest players, connected over 280 million subscribers in a way never known before to society. This form of connection has drawn the globe closer together than anyone ever predicted.

Just a few years ago, MySpace.com, solely dominated the social networking site market with almost 80% of the social networking site market but now websites like Facebook entered the social networking site race becoming the 8th most viewed website in the U.S. according to web measuring traffic site Alexa.com. Facebook.com which originally started at Harvard University , later extended to Boston area schools and beyond has mystified many naysayer's with its explosive growth over the last three years and an astounding asking price of $10-$15 billion dollars for the company. But who will be next?

Who will carry the torch into the future?

With the rapid growth of the likes of MySpace and Facebook the burning question on everyone's tongue is who is next? As with any burgeoning field many newcomers will and go but only the strong and unique will survive. Already many in the field have stumbled, as indicated by their traffic rankings, including heavily funded Eons.com with its former Monster.com founder at the helm, Hooverspot.com and Boomj.com with its ridiculous Web 3.0 slogan. There are many possibilities but it is a dark horse coming fast into view and taking hold in the social networking site market at the global level that has us interested the website - Vois.com. Less than a year ago, this newest contender directed at 25 to 50 years olds graced the absolute bottom of the list with its website ranked at a dismal 5,000,000. With not so much as a squeak this rising star has come from the depths of anonymity growing an eye-popping 10,000% in less than one year to make itself known worldwide now sporting a recent web traffic ranking in the 5,000 range.

Understanding the Market

When people in the United States hear about Facebook and other services such as MySpace the widely held belief is that these websites are globally used and are as synonymous as Google or Yahoo in regards to having a global market presence. This idea is completely misguided. Now it is true that both of these social networking giants are geared to service the western industrialized cultures but when it comes to the markets of the future, the emerging markets, they have virtually no presence. The sites themselves are heavily Anglicized, and Facebook in particular has an extremely complicated web interface that eludes even those familiar with the language, making them virtually inaccessible in other parts of the world even where English is the main language.

Our interest in Vois is global and geopolitical. Simply, Vois understands this lack of market service and is building its provision model on a global research concept developed by Goldman Sachs a few years ago. The concept is basically predicated on the belief that beginning now using current economic models and continuing those models over the next few decades will lead to a major paradigm shift in the world regarding nations who are current economic leaders like those being the USA and the other members of the G-7 and those who will become dominant in the world economy mainly the BRICs. In the Goldman research report Goldman highlights the fastest growing nations and has dubbed them with the two acronyms BRIC's and N-11. BRIC standing for ( Brazil, R ussia, India and China) representing the fastest growing economies and N-11 or what are being called the Next-11 representing the next 11 countries to emerge as future important economies such as Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Turkey and Vietnam. This approach has already been implemented with some success with companies like Orkut, who has over 80% of the market share in Brazil and large holdings in India and Eastern Europe . Other providers such as Hi5 have the world as their focus and are making great strides in global market share while Facebook builds itself into a niche provider wholly unready to take on the world.

A Growing Presence

As Vois breaks new ground in the world market pursuing previously ignored demographics, they afford themselves the opportunity of tremendous growth unfettered by the giants such as Facebook and MySpace. While cultivating this new user base, Vois will also be able to monopolize on their business revenue strategies, creating an area of commerce that will make their site increasingly attractive to business and users the world over. This concept, dubbed sCommerce, allows the subscriber to promote themselves in both personal and a professional fashion while giving them the option of setting up shop on the site. This approach will allow business owners to target their market in a way never before allowing them to focus on interested groups of individuals while providing follow-up without having to commit to wasteful blanket campaigns that are typically the order of the day. This newfound border will allow Vois to explore new revenue models while provide a tremendous service for both their regular subscribers and business subscribers alike. With all this going on, rapid traffic growth to the site, we pose the question - is Vois the next Facebook, it sure looks like it but only time will tell….

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