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Top 20 Social Media Sites of 2008… Where Do You Rank??

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I’m a few weeks behind in writing this post, but the stats are in so let’s take a look.

To start us off, let me preface by saying it is in my humble opinion that the Internet is a completely different media than more traditional methods.  Like, say, newspapers or television.  Along with this opinion comes the thought that Internet users are also a completely different creature in nature. 

Allow me to demonstrate:

It appears the media pendulum is continuing to swing in favor of online consumption.  According to Pew Research Center, 35% of people prefer to get their “fix” of national and international news from traditional print media.  This is a dismal 1% increase over 2007.  However, in comparison to the Internet, nearly 40% of people prefer to get their news fix from the online sources.  This is an exciting 24% increase over 2007.

On the flip side, while this number is impressive it is also premature to think the Internet is the “end all, be all”.  According to the numbers it doesn’t even come close to the 70% of people who prefer to get their news fix via television.  Hardly surprising.

In other polling news, my favorite Internet polling source (comScore) has released their list of the Top Social Media Sites of 2008.  An initial look at the list may surprise you.  For me, I was almost certain Facebook or Youtube would top the list.  My assumption (like yours if you agree) would be incorrect.

So, who tops the list?  Well, according to the research firm, Blogger.com takes the cake with over 222 million unique users worldwide in 2008.  Impressive!

Clocking in at number 2 and 3 are the social networking juggernauts Facebook and Myspace respectively.  Facebook commanded 200 million unique users while Myspace maintains 126 million users.  I suppose this opens up the airwaves for critics and Facebookers alike to claim “king of the hill” in regards to the ongoing duel between Facebook and Myspace.  My personal views are:  To each their own.  I’m a member of both sites and utilize each in different ways while liking/disliking features on each.  In the end, Facebook has a cleaner look while Myspace promotes individuality.  Again, to each their own opinion.

Further down the list you’ll find sites like WordPress catering to 114 million users, Window Live Spaces with 87 million users and Flickr with 64 million users.  It was too my surprise that YouTube didn’t even partake in the Top 20.  It can be explained by the mere fact that people would prefer to WATCH videos rather than MAKE videos.  In other words, you don’t have to open a YouTube account to watch videos.  While this doesn’t affect the number of views it most certainly affects “users” which is a basis of the list.  In terms of views/visits, YouTube is a powerhouse.

Another interesting statistical “stat” lies in the percentage swings from previous years.  For example, Window Live Spaces was down 22% from 2007 while WordPress was up 68%.  Kinda puts things into perspective.  Other percentile differences include the Alpha Dog, Blogger.com, demanding a 44% increase from November 2007.  I, personally, thought that would be significantly lower with the growing demand for WordPress blogs.  I’m now eating my words as the defending king takes the throne for yet another year.

In terms of percentages, the warp-speed increase of Facebook has catapulted an astounding 116% over 2007.  This doesn’t come to much surprise considering everybody and their brother has a Facebook account.  Heck, I know some people who juggle multiple accounts for varying purposes (i.e.: business and personal).  As for Myspace, they’ve managed to remain steady between 2007 and 2008.  I predict this number will start to subside as Facebook continues to snatch up the social networking “market share”.

Speaking of predictions, allow me to toss out another one to you.  I predict Twitter.com will have a percentage increase and user base similar to Facebook by the end of 2009.  I’ll leave this blog up all year as a way to either eat my words or baske in my glory.  Only time will tell.

In any event, below you will find the top 20 social networking list received from comScore.  It’s most definitely not a conclusive or definitive list, but it gives a good idea of what’s going on out there in the world of social networking sites.  Realistically, this list is more of a social media list than it is social networking, but whatever.  That’s for another day.

1. Blogger.com (222 million)

2. Facebook (200 million)

3. MySpace (126 million)

4. WordPress (114 million)

5. Windows Live Spaces (87 million)

6. Yahoo Geocities (69 million)

7. Flickr (64 million)

8. hi5 (58 million)

9. Orkut (46 million)

10. Six Apart (46 million)

11. Baidu Space (40 million)

12. Friendster (31 million)

13. 56.com (29 million)

14. Webs.com (24 million)

15. Bebo (24 million)

16. Scribd (23 million)

17. Lycos Tripod (23 million)

18. Tagged (22 million)

19. imeem (22 million)

20. Netlog (21 million)

(Here’s another screenshot from comScore:)

In conclusion, I found these statistics informative and intriguing to say the least. I hope you do as well.

For more information about the stats contained in this blog post, please visit comScore.com and TechCrunch.com.

Until next time,

Ron Reed

Written by Ron Reed

January 19th, 2009 at 2:30 am