Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Feb 14, 2009

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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.

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Web Strategy Summary
Facebook adopts OpenID, and makes more of their API available to developers shows a new leaf as the largest platform by registered users opens up –this should spur growth even further. MySpace, likely in reaction to all the Facebook clamor, and touts it’s engagement numbers and Hi5 aims after gaming, an activity ripe for a recession.


Data: Facebook adopts OpenID
The biggest news of the past days is Facebook’s adoption of OpenID, which will mean that universal logins will be available to users, and eventually sharing of data, portable information to pass around the social web is also amplified as they’ve announced that APIs are available to impact Status, Notes, Links, and Video to Facebook Platform

Engagement: MySpace touts user interaction
Perhaps in a punch back to Facebook’s total user claims, MySpace ignites a PR campaign and touts that it’s user engagement is high: “The average MySpace user now spends 266 minutes (4.4 hours) on the site every month; a 5% increase over last month and a +31% increase year over year. MySpace says its users spend nearly 100 minutes more per visitor than the closest competitor. ”

Launch: Hi5 launches games
Hi5, which has a high growth rate, is now introducing gaming to it’s social network platform, which are not only popular during normal growth but could skyrocket during a recession. There are sponsorship opportunities and advertising opportunities for brands that want to get into this space.

Best Practices: Craig Newmark on the secrets of Community
RWW distills how Craig’s list built their online community: Recognize the Importance of a Feedback Loop, Get out of the Way, and Understand we live in a culture of participation.

Stats: Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Flickr
This image, which I don’t have much background on, gives some data on some of the social networks. Also see these stats from Compete, collected by CNET

Culture: Don’t get Facebook?
While 150mm clammer on Facebook actively, some still aren’t sure of it’s purpose, and that’s ok. Read how some do get it, and even those that don’t may still be addicted. Others question if it can continue, despite being 5 years old.

Culture: Suicide on MySpace prevented
An odd, but ever so real story how those on MySpace were able to prevent another from committing suicide. Expect more stories like this to increase during the year.

2009 Social Networking Stats continues to grow
My not so secret collection continues to grow, read it, submit to it, and book mark it. Read Social Networking Stats for 2009.


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.

Hungry For Social Networking Stats? Then you should see my collection of Social Networks Stats for 2008 and 2009. Bookmark them, then share it with others as I continue to update it.