9.13.2007

Facebook catching up on MySpace

Facebook is on a trend to closing some of the gap with Myspace's traffic. MySpace made the open and distributed widget economy flourish but Facebook has managed to successfully position itself as a platform; both inviting the community to add apps incremental value. If Search is the Internet OS, Facebook is the middleware!
Even though MySpace has over twice as many visitors as Facebook (Compete, QuantCast ), Facebook is growing a lot faster. With 1 in 8 users worldwide visiting MySpace.com in any given month, the social network remains an incredible success story of adoption in an industry in its infancy. This said, MySpace could have reached critical mass and now most of its growth potential, getting closer to saturation with its current value proposition? Already 55% of online teens have profiles online according to PEW. Adding incremental unique visitors beyond a certain point becomes expensive for a traffic harder to convert and of poorer quality to advertisers. Engagement metrics look about the same although still in favor of MySpace. Compete shows more pages per visit for Myspace at 55 versus 44 for FaceBook but the gap is closing.


Traffic and Buzz converge. Nielsen BuzzMetrics Blogpulse shows blog references to "myspace" still outnumbers "facebook" although the gap is closing. IceRocket also confirms the trend with 2,007 posts including the term "facebook" over the past 3 months versus 6,413 for "myspace".




Queries can be split many ways of which isolating i) navigation vs informational vs transactional queries and ii) convenience-based vs preference are only two behavioral dimensions. Enough navigational queries take place in search boxes to also extract some directional insights from Google Trends. Google's search volume confirms Facebook closing the gap on MySpace as well.
Now, not all user generated opinion is good. Playing around with OpinMind, MySpace still has a much more positive "Sentimeter" than Facebook. This said, I would not conclude that fast that MySpace drives more satisfaction, engagement for that much. Different demographics makes them apples and oranges. The Sentimeter displays the relative number of positive and negative opinions identified by Opinmind's automated search processes ... just another data point. It would be interesting to see OpinMind's trend.




And now for more fun, I passed both through the sucks-rocks grounder to put FaceBook on top again.

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1 comment:

John Faris said...

Great post Arnaud. I like how you made the case with screenshots from the various buzz monitoring tools. Also, I hadn't checked out OpinMind yet, so thanks for the heads up on that tool!