The recent Nielsen study ‘Global Faces and Networked Plazes‘ focuses on the increase of social networks in terms of worldwide reach and extension. The results emphazise the rise and importance of communities but also the dynamic of the intention to grap more market share.
Talking of reach, Facebook -the worldwide leader in the social network market- is showing the strongest user base and has replaced MySpace as the world’s most popular social network. Classmates comes in third, followed by Orkut and LinkedIn. The reasons for the facebook success are obvious. According to the study and Nielsen measurement, the win of the Facebook tactic is based on the ‘simple design, broad demographic appeal and a focus on connecting’.
Reports estimate that in 2008 Facebook earned around $US300 million in ad revenue compared to around $US1 billion for MySpace. If Facebook has made a conscious choice to go for the quantity vs. quality strategy it has yet to overtake MySpace in the all-important revenue metric.
So, monetization is still not Facebook best business activity. MySpace attracts more advertisers and gets twice as much campaigns than the ‘Zuckerberg team’.
The Nielsen view on the reasons is that “MySpace’s offering possibly makes its inventory – of which there is a lot more compared to Facebook – easier to monetize, particularly in terms of immersive advertising.”
Finally important, the use of social networks has outdated email as the first way of online communication: 67% of the users show a regular activity in communities.