UK On To A User-Generated Future

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Participation at user-generated content sites in the United Kingdom has soared hundreds of percentage points over the past year, indicating the pervasive reach Web 2.0 has and may continue to have in the future.

In the UK, it’s Wikipedia sites that dominate the UGC world, according to comScore.

Wikipedia was ranked as the sixteenth most visited web-property in July, with 6.5 million UK visitors.

That represents a spike of 253 percent year-over-year.

Also in the top 50 web properties was MySpace, with a 467 percent jump to 5.2 million visitors. Piczo.com, a site that may be news to you, claims to have simplified personal profile creation to the tune of a 393 percent boost to 4 million UK visitors (out of 10 million total).

Popular MySpace alternative, Bebo.com, soared up 328 percent to UK visitors.

“Web 2.0 is clearly architected for participation, as it attempts to harness the collective intelligence of Web users,” commented Bob Ivins, managing director of comScore Europe.

“Many of the sites experiencing the fastest growth today are the ones that understand their audience’s need for expression and have made it easy for them to share pictures, upload music and video, and provide their own commentary, thus stimulating others to do the same. It is the classic network effect at work.”

It’s fostering audience participation that comScore credits with the rapid growth of these sites.

The best ones work hard to keep the user engaged. comScore, analyzing the level of engagement, found that, on average, the top five UGC sites showed higher levels of engagement than their competitors across all metrics.

Users of these top sites visited more often, stayed longer, and viewed more pages.

“By analyzing a variety of engagement metrics it is clear that UGC sites – and in particular social networking sites – represent potentially fertile ground for advertisers and marketers,” said Ivins.

“Users on these sites visit more frequently, stay longer, and view more content, which means more opportunities for marketers to communicate key messages. The challenge right now is to determine effective ways to integrate this messaging while maintaining a positive user experience.”

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