Despite Facebook Rise, MySpace Still King

    January 16, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

All the press and the industry observers talked about last year was Facebook, which made it seem like MySpace was soooo 2006. Social networkers, though, must not have been paying too much attention.

According to data from Hitwise, MySpace pulled in 76 percent of US visits to social networking websites in 2007, and 95 percent of them were return visitors in December. This can be interpreted that not only is MySpace commanding the vast majority of the social networking market, but also inspires some pretty fierce loyalty.

Facebook, the nearest social network competitor (you know, the one valued at something like 30 times what News Corp. paid for MySpace in 2005), pulled in 12.57 percent of US visits, which would be impressive if MySpace didn’t exist.

It’s not as gloomy for Facebook as it is overhyped. Year-over-year, Facebook grew by 50 percent and (presumably) swiped some market share from MySpace, which experienced an eight percent drop in market share between December 2006 and December 2007. And Facebook visitors are also loyal, with a 93 percent visitor return rate.

Bebo, which is more popular in Britain than in the US, was the next-closest social network, grabbing 1.24 percent of US visitors. Bebo was followed by BlackPlanet with 0.87 percent. The other 49 social networking sites measured accounted for a combined 8.97 percent.

Bebo and MySpace are neck-and-neck when measuring the amount of time visitors spend at the sites. Bebo visitors spent an average of 30 minutes and 24 seconds at the site in December 2007, compared to MySpacers, who spent 29 minutes and 36 seconds.

Facebookers spent just 19 minutes and 51 seconds on average, which is actually double the amount of time they spent there last year.