Archive for November, 2008

Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Nov 26, 2008



I’m respecting your limited time by publishing this weekly digest on the Social Networking space, which I cover as an industry analyst. By creating this digest (I started this over a year ago) it really helps me to stay on top of the space I cover.

I’ve created a new category called Digest (view archives). Start with the Web Strategy Summary, then quickly scan the succinct and categorized headlines, read text for my take, and click link to dive in for more.

Subscribe to this blog in your feedreader, or use the email subscription box in the right column. Or you can subscribe to this digest tag only and not receive my other posts.

Web Strategy Summary
Facebook reportadly in talks with Twitter, yet the deal did not go through, Kickapps raises a hefty “C” round of finance for $14mm, and more niche social networks launch, this one for the affluent gay market and ailing. YouTube launches “live video” streaming and MySpace couples with Guns and Roses for web launch.

Stats: Collection of Social Network Stats
I’ve started to aggregate stats of all kinds, growth, revenue, demographics, website usage, and more on this page of Social Networks Site Usage: Visitors, Members, Page Views, and Engagement by the Numbers in 2008. Bookmark it, and share it with others as I continue to update it.

No Deal: Facebook was in talks with Twitter
Kara Swisher uncovers a story about Facebook in talks with Twitter, yet no more, which they didn’t admit in public when probed. Some suspect exit strategy of overvalued equity a concern.

Funding: Kickapps Raises $14mm
This C round of $14mm should hold Kickapps through much of the economic downturn if they invest it correctly as well as bank some capital away.

Advertising: Baidu withdraws advertising from alleged scammers
Baidu apologizes for publishing ads from unlicensed medical practioners which critics call scams. I guess in this case the messenger has a responsibility to provide quality advertising.

Video: Scoble interviews Context Optional
The famous video blogger Robert Scoble interviews Kevin Barenblat’s of Context Optional to discuss how advertisements are now becoming interactive ads, watch the 6 min video to get the short.

Numbers: LinkedIn Stats from CEO
8 million to more than 30 million, while the staff has expanded from 60 to 370 employees, CEO alludes (but doesnt confirm nor deny) that revenues are $75 (million) to $100 million says this interview with SFgate.

Enterprise 2.0: Social Networks not ready for business?
This article weighs the different viewpoints from business leaders about the opportunities for social networks within the enterprise. Although we see rabid adoption among consumers, is there value inside of the firewall? Read more to understand different opinions.

Verticals: Social Network for Gays and Businesses
GayWallet launches, in hopes of connecting the affluent gay market with companies what want to cater to their community. We continue to see niche social networks for every walk of life and interest.

Media: MySpace launches Guns and Roses latest album
Gaining lots of attention, Mr Rose launches his overdue album on social network MySpace which caters to a strong self-expression and media hungry audience. See the MySpace page which today has 75 million listens and 441k friends. To put this into perspective some of the top selling albums (sure a different medium) had 29 million album buys –Eagles.

Vertical: Social Network for sick and dying
More niche players emerge as this one for the ailing called caring bridge launches, the examiner has the story.

Visualization: Facebook shows off it’s global data
Global thermonuclear war? Wargames? Not quite, Facebook’s latest featured video shows off all the data that’s being created in the world on it’s platform, and how it’s shared. Trippy.

Video: YouTube Live makes video real time
Google’s YouTube launched a live show to showcase top performers and video bloggers in this first ever stream. Expect YouTube to take a more center stage in the family room experience –they also launched a wide screen player, a first step to going HD.

Research: Users on Social Networks but advertising “Anemic”
A recent IDC reports that there’s strong usage of consumers using these social networks, but brand advertising is still a miss. Yup, but we have to remember there are multiple ways to approach social netwroks, and the first way should be community marketing, which means being a resource to them and talking with them –not at them.

Etiqutte: Facebook Do’s and Dont’s
Forget polishing school for your Saturday supper clubs, now it’s time to pay attention to social network behavior, this polite guide gives the top five dos and donts.

Advertising Network: Glam media launches widget network
Some say that interactive widgets show higher engagement and interaction that traditional ads and Glam Media is rolling out a widget advertising network across 50 of it’s properties.

Culture: Examples of people being “Stupid” on social networks
What happens in the lockerroom doesn’t belong on social networks, read these three examples of some real winners, in “don’t be stupid

If you’re a social network, or widget company, I want to know of your news, send me an email, or leave a comment below. Help me stay up to date.

Stats: Have you seen my collection of Social Networks Site Usage: Visitors, Members, Page Views, and Engagement by the Numbers in 2008? Bookmark it, and share it with others as I continue to update it.

Executive Video Interview: Why Dell Continues To Use Social Media


Bob Pearson (Twitter at bobpdell) Vice President, Communities & Conversations at Dell invited me out to Microsoft’s Architect Forum to co-lead a session on social computing.

I let my twitter community come up with questions, and I took three from the dozens to pose to Bob, select questions from: Cece Salomon-Lee, Ravit Lichtenberg, and oemporor (can’t find his tweet)

Here’s the questions I posed to Bob, if I could only spit the words out as well as I could write them:

  • Is IdeaStorm increasing revenues?
  • Is social media impacting the bottom and top line of Dell?
  • How Dell has made $1mm in revenue from Twitter.
  • Is social media superficial branding, or does it truly change the company?
  • How does an economic downturn impact Dell’s social media efforts?
  • Is it better for customers to self-support each other rather than calling Dell Support?
  • What’s the URL of your corporate webpage?
  • It’s great to learn first hand from Dell how they’ve used these tools to increase revenues and reduce costs –it’s time we focus on the business aspect of things rather than the feel good branding only. You can see one of Bob’s recent video interviews on the Direct 2 Dell site.

    Or, see this visualization of the same interview by VizEdu

    People on the Move in the Social Media Industry: Nov 24, 2008



    Despite there being many layoffs in the startup space. I’ve started this post series (see archives) to recognize and congratulate folks who get promoted, move, or accept new exciting positions. Please help me congratulate the following folks:

  • Geoff Merrick joins Ripple6 in the new position of VP of Professional Services coming from Buzzhub. Ripple6 is growing & seeking others in the NYC learn more from their careers page.
  • Kris Hoet switches jobs within Microsoft and is now the Digital Media Communications Manager for all Windows Consumer brands – PC, mobile and online – as well as MSN and Live Search in EMEA.
  • MySpace Music to name Courtney Holt, a former MTV executive chief next week, this spells out a greater focus on media for MySpace rather than pure networking.
  • Dave Giusti joins Freepath in September as the myFreepath Community Manager. myFreepath is a network of people who exchange content (videos, audio, documents…you name it) through playlists created in Freepath.
  • David Gillespie is now a digital strategist currently in Melbourne, Australia but relocating early January to Toronto, Ontario! He writes Creative Is Not A Department which has been named one of the top 50 marketing blogs in Australia and also one of the top 15 business blogs. I’m already building up my net work on the ground there through Twitter but every little bit helps!
  • Marc Smith, formerly Senior Sociologist Researcher on Microsoft’s R&D team, has joined Telligent as Chief Social Scientist. I can’t wait to meet you and talk shop, congrats Marc and team.

  • How to connect with others (or get a job):
    Several people have been hired because of this blog post series, here’s how:

    Submit an announcement
    If you know folks that are moving up in the social media industry, leave a comment below, or if you’re feeling shy (it’s cool to self-nominate) send me an email. Please include a link to your announcement, and ensure you’re really living and breathing in the social media world –this is not a small aspect of your role.

    Seeking Social Media Professionals?
    If you’re seeking to connect with community advocates and community managers there are few resources

    List of Enterprise Social Media Professionals
    This list, which started with just 8 names continues to grow as folks submit to it. List of Social Computing Strategists and Community Managers for Enterprise Corporations 2008 –Social Media Professionals.

  • See Web Strategy Jobs powered by Job o Matic (Post a job there and be seen by these blog readers, fees pay for my hosting)
  • Read Write Web also has job announcements in Jobwire, although at a broader scope than my announcements
  • Connect with others in the community manager group in Facebook
  • Check out Jake McKee’s community portal for jobs
  • See Chris Heuer’s Social Media Jobs
  • SimplyHired aggregates job listings, as does Indeed
  • ForumOne Jobs for Social Media and Community
  • Teresa has a few jobs, some around community
  • New Media hire has an extensive job database
  • Social Media Headhunter
  • Social media jobs
  • Jobs in social media
  • Hiring? Leave a comment
    If you’re seeking candidates in the social media industry, many of them are within arms reach, feel free to leave a link to a job description (but not the whole job description, or I’ll delete it)

    I’m seeking folks that are related to full time hands on social media strategy and community managers, to be on this list, so let me know if you see these folks, and please submit them –try to include links to announcements on blogs or on the wire. Also, I probably will not include executive management changes on this list at social media companies, as the list would go on and on, but you can feel free to express yourself in the comments!

    Retweet: The Infectious Power Of Word Of Mouth


    Word of Mouth, the Holy Grail of Marketing
    Word of mouth marketing is one of the most desirable activities to brands, why? Because research on trust shows that consumers (folks like you and me) trust the opinions of people we know more than anyone else. It makes sense of course, think about the next time you’re going to buy a car, who’s opinion are you going to trust, those of your friends or the opinion of the sales guy representing the product?

    [Information within Microblogging communities like Twitter encourage rapid word of mouth –of both positive and negative content]

    Twitter, Although Small, Continues to Demonstrate Influence
    Twitter, which I’m seeing informal stats of around 5 million users, has continued to show it’s viral capabilities, with last week’s Motrin mom’s brand punking of an advertisement to news being spread about natural disasters faster than traditional news, this toolset allows content to spread faster and farther than we’ve ever seen. Watching how Al Gore’s Current TV integrated tweets live on their TV broadcast and how CNN and CSPAN mentioned this microblogging service during the election months is a nod to it’s power. In some ways, long form blog posts like this seem so much slower and plodding compared to how quickly information can come and go in Twitter.

    [Within the Twitter community a “Retweet” is a social gesture indicating endorsement of an idea]

    The “Retweet” How Information Quickly Spreads
    As a result, the most powerful activity within Twitter is to watch the “Retweet” phenomeneon. A retweet is when one individual copies a tweet from someone in their network and shares it with their network. It’s perhaps the highest degree of content approval, it means that the content was so valuable and important that they were willing to share it with their network –causing it to spread from one community to the next –retweets are the core essence of the viral aspect of content spreading. Early research from Peter Kim indicates that twitter users are brand sensitive, and spread information. Since content can be shared, consumed on mobile devices, this information can rapidly spread faster than any other infectious technology we’ve ever seen.

    How to Measure and Monitor the Coveted Retweets
    Expect to see social media measurement tools appear that measure the spread of retweets, URLs, and other commonly repeated content to look for how information is passed from a source to a node, to an entire community. In fact, in a very primitive way, you can see those that are repeating the content of others, for example Tim O’Reilly’s content. See this search query showing “Retweet @timorielly“, or “RT @timoreilly” (an abbreviated version).

    You should do the same query for your brand, products, and those of your competitors, start with this query “retweet yourbrand“, and change out yourbrand. At some point we can expect a service to appear that will track a tweet from a single source, then track how it is retweeted, then by who (and their number of followers) then to create a numerical value of the velocity of that single original tweet as it cascades through a community.

    Impacts to Users, Brands and Vendors

    Twitter Users: If someone retweets your content, be and feel honored, it means that your content was so important or interesting to them they are willing to share it with their own trusted network. If you need some guidelines on how to retweet, read this handy guide.

    Brands: Companies should pay close attention to how information spreads and should do searches on their product and brand to learn what type of information is being spread by who.

    Vendors: Social media measurement companies like Cymfony, Buzzmetrics, Radian 6, Buzzlogic, and others should start tracking the retweet stream around a brand and product to monitor and map out community and content hotspots. It’s possible to create some type of “Digg” or “Delicious” tool that maps the social voting and bookmarking based off the data gleaned from Retweets and TinyURLs.

    I’ll echo Shel Israel who posted similar thoughts that retweeting is the most powerful single aspect of Twitter.

    Update: some stats are starting to appear about retweeting, see the Retweetist.

    Why Magpie’s Advertising System Is Self-Diminishing


    Testing a Twitter Advertising System
    I tested out Magpie, an advertising system that creates tweets in my tweet stream, from third party advertisers then pays me.

    Some have already blogged about their opposing thoughts on it, and some are publicaly open that they are now Magpies. For me, it was just a test that I’ve now ceased.

    Part of my job as an analyst covering social media is to use the very tools in which I cover. I use this knowledge to write reports, help clients, and make suggestions to the vendors themselves. You can expect brands to ask me “how should we engage in Twitter” and I’ll point them to this very post.

    There was quite the vitriolic reaction from some, others didn’t seem to mind, a few were acceptable of it. If there was anyone to test it, it makes sense for me, it’s part of my job, and I have a large enough follower base to average reactions.

    I’m also going to measure the amount of folks that may have unsubscribed with TweepleTwak, hopefully they’ll realize it’s not permanent and return.

    The Test
    I setup the system a few days ago, and set it for every 10th tweet there would be an ad, the system is supposed to line up ads with content related to what I talk about. Either there was no brands related to what I talk about, or the system felt I talked about magpie enough, it tweeted this:

    “#magpie startups give magpie a try! they’ve got a total reach of 500,000 followers. campaigns starting at EUR 10.”

    Immediately after, I let my followers know it was a test, and tweeted the following:

    “That last tweet was my first test of Magpie, It was auto generated by them. I’m testing this as a social media analyst. What do you think? “

    Here are the 48 reactions, which I’ve sorted by sentiment:
    Responses came in over 60 minutes.

    Successful or Accepted: 7 Responses

  • findchris: @jowyang Not so bad as long as the #magpie tag is used.
  • gahlord: Also, fwiw, I don’t care that much if @jowyang uses Magpie (I put up with a lot of noise for Guy, why not for Owyang?)
  • nateritter: @jowyang at least it was relevant. Probably first thing I’ve clicked on in your stream in a while actually. It interests me.
  • mediamanx: @jowyang the magpie ad seems relevant – though self promoting to magpie. will be interesteing to see what follows & how frequent they run
  • davidkspencer: @jowyang I wouldn’t mind it if the #magpie tag somehow stood out. It blends in, easy to miss. That’s an issue with app, not business model.
  • DavidBrim: @jowyang #magpie sounds cool, but I don’t think a CPM model will be as effective as a CPC or CPA model.
  • KevinUrie: @jowyang it will work for you, and you will not loose many followers. But for most it will be a death sentence. Saying test, ruins the test
  • Unsure, Neutral or Conditional: 14 Responses

  • ewantoo: @jowyang I think it will all depend on the adverts carried, an ad to buy herbal viagra is going to get you or anyone else blocked
  • jasonlog: @jowyang should think of twit copywriting
  • gahlord: @jowyang Will you have to give a disclaimer about potential profit motives when writing about Magpie?
  • john_mcgann: @ jowyang If early adopters are important to the advertiser then advertwitting could actually *damage* a brand… IMHO
  • jusx: @jowyang i wouldn’t mind magpie if it labels it’s tweets with “SPONSOR” or “ADVERTISEMENT”. Yes in caps. It’s a bit deceiving IMHO.
  • fritzpw: @jowyang I got a message advertising magpie. Was that the intent?
  • sawinkler: @jakemarsh @jowyang just had the same exact tweets. did I just see magpie in action?
  • JoeSeale: @jowyang IMHO magpie gives a certain opaqueness to the term transparency. Where’s the disclaimer that you didn’t *actually* post that info?
  • A_F: @jowyang they need to disclose in the tweet that it is a “sponsored” tweet, else = FAIL
  • JoeSeale: @jowyang I suppose I missed the #magpie. Does that count as a disclaimer?
  • techpr: @jowyang auto-generated by magpie (not clear) and they refer to themselves in third person. lame. twitter is about transparency, no?
  • NoOneYouKnow: @jowyang Magpie site is a little confusing – is it pay for tweet? ad network?
  • fbpda: @jowyang I don’t think that #magpie is going to annoy me but if it bothers one of my followers then it’s a no-go for me.
  • jasona: @jowyang It was a big, blatant billboard on the side of a nice, quite, untouched country road.

  • Negative Reaction: 20 Responses

  • GrantGriffiths: @jowyang What do I think. I think #Mappie is a bunch of BS that twitter doesn’t need.
  • WBkilburn: @jowyang To me, it diminishes your credibility. Advert is in your voice – on blog ads, there’s a distinction between autor and advertiser.
  • bloodandmilk: @jowyang It made me wonder why you were running an ad, and I doubted your judgement a little.
  • laser: @jowyang I wish that the magpie tweets came across as ads rather than personal announcements. Seems kind of misleading.
  • t_de_baillon: @jowyang Magpie means more noise for less signal. I never thought diluting a message was a good marketing strategy
  • WellTold: @jowyang re magpie, I’d rather eat my foot than use that. Ads on twitter – leave me alione!!!!!
  • kerry_anne: @jowyang I blogged my reasons for disliking #magpie a few weeks ago: (expand)
  • durjoy: @jowyang I think it’s noise pollution
  • jonesabi: @jowyang The trust I feel when I think of you plummeted.
  • gilliatt: @jowyang I think is making glad they rebranded earlier. Twitter spam will not make friends.
  • thehartworker: @jowyang as much as I know I cannot influence at all what magpie twitters in my name – therefore: no way I will use it
  • kellytirman: @jowyang I am not feeling it. There must be a better solution to monetize Twitter, if at all.
  • PatrickCourtney: @jowyang there’s no real barrier between ad and content. To me it weakens credibility – like pay per post for blogs.
  • dtd: @jowyang I think no. The Magpie “message” seems to be coming directly from you.
  • seanodotcom: @jowyang spammy.
  • zolierdos: @jowyang Jeremiah, you gotta be kidding, this is spam
  • theregoesdave: @jowyang i think magpie is paying for your credibility, but you don’t get it back when they’re done #magpie
  • brentnau: @jowyang I really believe that if the tweets do not pass the sniff test followers wiil revolt. Escpecially if used too often.
  • AndySwan: @jowyang please don’t. #magpie is NO DIFFERENT than accepting $$ to send your friends spam emails or intterupt their real convos with pitch
  • Benderelly: @jowyang I think you’re cashing in – I ain’t clicking on it.

  • Unfollow: The worst reaction: 7 Responses

  • quietrevolution: @jowyang I like folks promoting themselves/their biz etc. I would delete you from my followers & anyone else that uses it. No value to me.
  • ericagee: @jowyang Yeah, I hatethe idea of Magpie and agree with Joe – I’d unfollow anyone who started using it regularly.
  • ninjarunner: @jowyang i have told myself that i will unfollow people who use #magpie. Love your tweets, at a cross-roads if you use it…
  • adarowski: @jowyang I can’t really think of any cases where magpie ≠ unfollow.
  • JoeCascio: @jowyang Dude, you have to be kidding. Anybody that spams me thru Magpie gets an automatic un-follow. 4reelz.
  • wnourse: @jowyang Don’t like it – I may stop following if people start using it
  • mark2100: @jowyang @JessicaKnows I’m unfollowing you because of Magpie, it’s nothing personal but tweeter users need to take a stand against spam.
  • Findings
    Positive Reactions 7, or 14%
    Unsure Reactions 14, or 29%
    Negative Reactions: 20, or 41%
    Unfollow (very negative) 7, or 14%

    As you can see, the majority of responses were negative (20), some downright annoyed or angry and ready to leave (7), that means that 56% of respondents had negative reactions. Many were confused (14), or had conditions on why it could be successful, and finally a few were actually ok with it (7) a mere 14%. Given the weight of the majority of negative responses, this system is not ready.

    Magpie not ready –and will self implode
    In the end, Magpie (or any Twitter advertising system) is going to need some fixes to be successful. The ads need to be clearly identified as ads, the content relevant enough so followers would accept them, and a disclosure made by the tweeter to their followers what’s being done. Perhaps some alternative marketing methods would be developing ads when using the search tools, or on background screens (this has already happened).

    Brands often don’t know how to engage in conversational marketing, we’ve seen quite a few brands create Twitter accounts, but are unsure what to do, some spit out press releases and links to blog posts alone, and others create personas like Popeye’s chicken that some are unsure how to react to.

    Yet advertising in social media is already well accepted
    One thing is for sure, just as we saw with the once “pure” blogs, marketers follow crowds, in fact, I remember in 2005 many bloggers would revolt against blogs having ads, my recent count showed that there are 4 on scobleizer, 12 on RWW, 14 on Techcrunch, and 21 ads on Mashable. (note, sometimes its hard to tell what’s an ad and what’s not). In fact, there are 1.5 million subscribers to Techcrunch’s RSS feed, which contains ads instream at the bottom of each post –ads are an acceptable part of opt-in content.

    There’s also Glam Media, Federated Media, Google Ad sense and others, in fact, one of my favorite podcasts, For Immediate Release is sponsored by Ragan communications and other vendors, and I have no problem with this as the signal is high, and the ads are related to my interests.

    Risks, Money, and Experiments
    Yes, I took a risk losing some followers by doing this test, yet I’ve since stop the magpie service. Now that the test is over, and will be meeting with the Magpie team for a phone briefing if we can coordinate since the team is in Germany.

    What about the money? It calculates the number of followers I have, (plus some other factors I believe) and Magpie let me know I earned a few euros, €32.87 which equates $41.39. I won’t be collecting the money, since they only cash out for 50 euros, and if they mail me a check, I’ll donate it to the Red Cross, my favorite charity.

    Love to hear your reactions to this experiment.

    Update: Just like Tivo, Ad blocking software and email spam filters appeared as a response to ads, a Magpie Blocking script has appeared which auto filters all messages that contain those messages in them.

    Social Networks Site Usage: Visitors, Members, Page Views, and Engagement by the Numbers in 2008


    Seeking stats for 2009? They are being compiled on this updated post.

    Stats on social networks are important, but I’m going to need your help in creating a community archive, can you submit stats as you find them?

    I’m often asked, “What are the usage numbers for X social network” and I’ve received considerable traffic on my very old post (way back in Jan) of MySpace and Facebook stats, even months later. Decision makers, press, media, and users are hungry for numbers, so I’ll start to aggregate them as I see them

    An industry analysts’ perspective on web measurement:
    To be clear, my employer Forrester doesn’t provide specific numbers about social networks like Compete, Comscore, Nielsen or others, we conduct our own surveys on user/brand behavior, opinions, and technographics, so I’m often asked for these numbers by press. I’ll use this page as a library, and point clients, press, and media to it, so they’re armed.

    Numbers don’t tell us much without insight and intrepreation, in fact, you’re going to see conflicting numbers of usage from many of the agencies and social networks themselves. The key is to look at trend movements, don’t focus on the specific numbers but the changes to them over time.

    I put more weight on active unique users in the last 30 days vs overall registered, in fact, the actual active conversion rate will often range from 10-40% of actual users sticking around and using the social network, so don’t be fooled by puffed numbers.

    No single metric is a good indicator, you have to evaluate the usage from multiple dimensions, so you also have to factor in what are users doing, time on site, interaction, and of course, did they end up buying, recommending products, or improving their lives.

    Social Networks Site Usage: Visitors, Members, Page Views, and Engagement by the Numbers in 2008

    All Social Networks

  • Overall growth, Unique Audience of Twitter, Facebook, Bebo, LInkedIn, MySpace and beyond, Oct 23, 2008, Nielsen Wire
  • Social Media Stats: This comprehensive wiki has additional data, Helen Lawrenece
  • Membership in social sites: Facebook, MySpace… and, Oct 2008, Rubicon Consulting
  • Extensive list of social networks by traffic, and google insights mentions, and demographics (but doesn’t state source), it’s best to use this comparatively, Dec 2008, Ignite Social Media
  • UK Social networking stats show growth, Hitwise Dec 2008
  • Social Technographics
    Understand how people use different social technologies –the first step before you determine which tools to use.

  • Social Technographics Profile Tool, Forrester Research
  • New 2008 Social Technographics data reveals rapid growth in adoption, Forrester Research
  • AdultFriendFinder

  • 59 million unique worldwide visitors per month according to comScore, For the nine months ended September 30, 2008, we averaged more than four million new member registrations on our websites each month, averaged over one million paying subscribers each month from whom we derived 77.2% of our internet revenues. Dec, 2008 IPO statements
  • Bebo

  • 40 million registered users, Nov 2008, from Bebo directly to me
  • Beth Kanter has an archive of stats she’s taken screenshots of, as well as this handy index list.
  • BlogHer

  • Nielsen Site Census on all of the 2,500 blogs in our Publishing Network, and December, 2008 ended up with: 14.2MM uniques, 62MM page views. Comscore, a panel-based solution, a panel based survey indicated November, 2008 with 6MM uniques. Comscore typically runs at about 50% of our audit trails from Nielsen Site Census. Source: Told to me direct by Blogher, on Jan 2009
  • A treasure trove of stats are available in this PDF report, read the last slides about not even giving up chocolate!, Blogher, 2008
  • Digg

  • “Although the company claims it has 35 million unique users per month, independent researcher comScore (SCOR) says that Digg had 16.3 million users worldwide in October 2008, up 31% from last October’s user base of 12.4 million”, also “But according to Quantcast’s Web site, claimed 21.7 million global users as of Nov. 30”, Dec 2008, Business Week
  • Facebook

  • Facebook usage skyrockets from election activity: Includes specific usage numbers, fans and supporters, Nov 5th, Source: Zdnet
  • Facebook 18 Million Unique Visitors in UK, top 5th overall web property, Sep-Aug 08, Source: Comscore
  • More than 120 million active users (does not indicate measure of active), Facebook is the 4th most-trafficked website in the world, More than 400,000 developers and entrepreneurs from over 160 countries, Over 52,000 applications are currently available on Facebook Platform, Nov 2008, from Facebook Stats Page
  • I was told by Mark Zuckerberg (face to face) that the total number of registered users is now 140mm, Dec, 2008
  • If the numbers are right, Facebook’s online users have grown by 30 million in the last four months, up from 90 million users in early July 2008. That means that Facebook is growing much faster than the 250,000 new users per day that the company had previously estimated, Nov 3, 2008, Epoch Times
  • Gather

  • Demographies: ages 25-54, median age is 42, 55% women, 1.2 milliion unique vistiors, 9 million pages views per month, 500k are registered, Dec 2008, as told to me by CEO Tom Gerace
  • Hi5

  • World’s fastest growing among the top-10 global social networks. Based on the June comScore Media Metrix worldwide figures, hi5 grew 79% in the first half of 2008 – more than twice the growth rate of any of the top 10 social networks. According to comScore, the popular site’s monthly unique visitors increased from 31.4 million in December 2007 to 56.4 million in June 2008 – an increase of 25 million monthly visitors. hi5’s October 2008 Worldwide daily average is: 505 million, July 2008 stats, as told to me by Adriana of Corp Comm of Hi5 team.
  • LinkedIn

  • Nearly 60% of LinkedIn users have high personal incomes and hold executive-level or consultant positions, Nov 10th, 2008, LinkedIn, Anderson Analytics.
  • LinkedIn demographics presentation from Aug, 2008, Erick of Techcrunch
  • Stats from CEO: 8 million to more than 30 million, while the staff has expanded from 60 to 370 employees, CEO alludes (but doesnt confirm nor deny) that revenues are $75 (million) to $100 million, The average age is 41 years old. The average household income is $109,000; 76 percent of them have a college degree or a graduate degree. It’s pretty evenly split between men and women, slightly more men. Forty-eight percent are outside the United States, from 07 to 2008. Nov, SFGate.
  • LiveJournal

  • LiveJournal is almost 10 years old and has 1.9 million active users (PDF), Dec, 2009
  • MySpace

  • MySpace has more than 110 million monthly active users around the globe, Jan 2008, emailed to me from press
  • Reunion

  • 32 Million Registered Members, and Growing. Jan, 2008, Reunion to me direct
  • Update, Nov 20, 2008: 50 million total registered members, Adding 1.6 million+ members monthly (mostly adults), Nearly 1 million active paying subscribers. Numbers direct from Kate Zentall of Reunion to me.
  • Second LIfe

  • Second Life provides real time stats: Residents Logged-In During Last 30 Days: 985,92 (out of 16 million total registered). Nov 18, 2008, Linden Site
  • Twitter

  • Global visitors to Twitter rose almost fivefold to 5.57 million in September from a year earlier. Nov 12, 2008, Comscore via BBC.
  • Locations (Cities) with the most tweets, Tokyo is the most popular city, Real TimeTwitter Local
  • Twitter stats by usage during week, as well as comparing heavy vs light users, May 15th, Compete (submitted by Nick)
  • HP Labs has conducted research on twitter, I’ve highlighted the average number of followers, friends, tweets, and active user base.
  • Twitter is dominated by newer users – 70% of Twitter users joined in 2008, An estimated 5-10 thousand new accounts are opened per day, 35% of Twitter users have 10 or fewer followers, 9% of Twitter users follow no one at all, Dec 08, State of the Twittersphere
  • WeeWorld

  • This virtual world/social network aimed at teens who also use IM has reported 25mm registered users, and 1million unique active visitors in last 30 days, as told to me in Nov 2008 on briefing call
  • 2009 Stats

  • Need more stats See this ongoing list of social networking stats for 2009.
  • Caveat: As I mentioned before, do not quote these numbers are from me, I’m simply collecting them in one spot, as you’ll see the accuracy will be debated depending on source to source.

    I need your help, as you find references to usage, visitors, or registered members numbers in articles or reports, please leave a comment with the URL.