Blog Post

Social Networking by the Numbers

Some interesting figures from social networking company executives here at the Web 2.0 Summit. Cyworld and MySpace are, more than ever, heads and shoulders above the competition.

SK Communications CEO Hyun-Oh Yoo reports Cyworld has 20 million subscribers in Korea, which is 40 percent of the total Korean population, as well as more than 3 million users in non-Korean countries. He claims 96 percent of 20- to 29-year-old Koreans use Cyworld “regularly,” which is kind of fuzzy, but it implies that all of them are members of the service, which is impressive on its own. The site has 22 million unique visitors per month, 20 billion page views per month, and $300,000 in daily sales of digital items. He also said the site sells 6 million songs per month and has 100,000 videos uploads daily (bigger than the publicly reported YouTube numbers).

A few minutes later Fox Interactive president Ross Levinsohn got on stage and bragged about a couple of MySpace‘s numbers. The site had 320,000 new profiles created around the world yesterday. “We’re adding the size of Buffalo every day,” he quipped. MySpace had 38 billion page views last month. We can’t go number for number to compare with Cyworld, but MySpace currently has 127,572,933 members, according to the number displayed on my profile right now. Levinsohn disputed reports of lagging growth, assuring the traffic dips everyone is making such a fuss about happened in August and September last year too.

These two sites are far and away the giants of their domains. Today Hitwise sent out its measure of U.S. social network market shares by divvying up visits to the top 20 sites in the sector (see chart). MySpace has more that 80 percent of this category. Hitwise’s Matt Tatham also offered a few updated numbers through October, with the only material difference we can see being Facebook taking a slightly bigger chunk. Facebook now has 8.43 percent share, up from 7.24 percent, while MySpace has basically stayed the same with 81.87 percent of the market (last month was 81.92 percent). U.S. social networking traffic has nearly doubled in the meantime, accounting for one in 20 U.S. Internet visits, according to Hitwise.

20 Responses to “Social Networking by the Numbers”

  1. I have heard a rumour that there is a new social website constructed by the British. Apparently it combines the best features of both MySpace and Facebook with a host of extra stuff. They’re calling it web2.5. I’ll post back when I get the name of the site. Do you think there is room for another?

  2. Avg session time on Facebook MIGHT be true, but I’d say they’re the top in terms of cumulative hours a day… people leave it up all day.

    And MySpace is so poorly designed that the simplest things take 8 page views, so splitting up the market inflates MySpace’s numbers if you do it by pageviews. How about unique, active real human users? They’re still tops, but not by as ridiculous a margain.

  3. “Those numbers are great but this is coming from a country where the majority of the population access the internet via mobile as their primary online access point.”

    I think you’re talking about Japan, Ted. Koreans use fixed line as our main channel. You have to get your facts right.


  4. Well facebook definitely has much control over spam and who gets on the site unlike myspace. But dismissing myspace would be totally stupid. Facebook has become too intrusive with every little detail of your activity made public and this could backfire its popularity. On the other side myspace lets you control how much visibility of your profile you want to share with the world and yes you can have multiple profiles and what not. Its interesting to see who gets more eye balls.

  5. I agree with Eric about the full picture of these sites (how long, how many times per day, this is not ValleyWag so I won’t assume that those comments will be misinterpreted). And I will say that Ted’s point about Facebook’s quality of users is a good one (although now that it’s open to everyone I bet we start seeing more stripper friends).

    MySpace is still a great way to blog/post pictures/videos/express yourself/connect with friends (old and new)/ and discover new music. It’s THE all-in-one Web2.0 platform… If you think it’s all porn and spam – you just signed on to see what it was all about – you’re not actually part of the community.

  6. seriously, what is the myspace number minus: spam + adverprofiles + dormant/abandoned + duplicates + spam + spam? i’m guessing actual numbers are closer to 2x facebook, but before those same numbers are used for facebook (as in, remove dupes, etc)

  7. So here Facebook seems to be lagging in average session time. But wasn’t there a post on this blog last week about how the average Facebook user spends 1:09 hours per day on the site? — which was way higher than a bunch of the others.

    Maybe Facebook users have more, but shorter sessions per day than the others?

    Maybe all this data isn’t giving us a complete picture of how users behave on each of these sites.

  8. Ted Avery

    Oh, also, am I the only one who believes 80% of the newly created Myspace profiles are spam profiles? I think Facebook’s (and most other social nets) traffic quality trumps Myspace’s for advertisers across the board.

  9. Ted Avery

    Those numbers are great but this is coming from a country where the majority of the population access the internet via mobile as their primary online access point.

    In the USA we have been able to use our computers as our base of online experience since the 80’s. It’s going to take a moment to retrain themselves to use mobile in that way. I imagine the 15 year olds coming up will be ready to do that by the time they are 18.