Recently released statistics show that there are 29 social networks with at least 1 million unique visitors everyday. Topping the list, somewhat predictably, is Facebook, with an estimated 310 million visitors a day – approximately half of its total users. Orkut and Qzone come in 2nd and 3rd with 51 and 37 million unique visits respectively, and Twitter made it to 4th in the list, with 21 million visitors a day. After that, the numbers tail off quite sharply, with the bottom 20 above 1 million visits a day being beneath 5 million.
So while on the face of it, there appears to be a healthy number of social networking sites that are keeping their traffic up in the shadow of Facebook – which if it were a country, would have the third largest population in the world – all is not well in terms of total users. MySpace used to be the place to be. Now it is very much the poor cousin on the social networking scene. In as little as a month, the now predominantly musically orientated social network site that helped launch the careers of artists like Arctic Monkeys, Kate Nash and Lily Allen has lost millions of users. There were almost 63 million users of MySpace in February 2011, down from more than 73 million in January. Year on year the site has lost almost 50 million users, down from close to 110 million in February 2010.
Once at the forefront of social networking, it looks like the death knell may be ringing for MySpace, which was originally bought for £330m by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, and is now valued at as little as £50m. So what of the fate of Facebook? Does these things work in cycles, and will the likes of Twitter and Facebook go the way of MySpace and slip into relative obscurity? That all remains to be seen, but just remember where all of your data is stored before you go jumping ship to ‘the next social network’.