Interaction Building an online community Sharing interests and activities Communicating with known associates Sharing photos Sharing videos Blogging Networking with strangers Developing a sense of ‘belonging’
construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system
articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection and
view and traverse [move back and forth] their list of connections and those made by others within the system. The nature and nomenclature [name selection] of these connections may vary from site to site.’
~Boyd, D. M. & Ellison, N. B. (2007) ‘Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship’. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication , 13 (1), article 11.
The rapid growth of social networking that has been observed over the last two to three years is indicative of its entry into mainstream culture and its integration into the daily lives of many people. ~Ofcom Social Networking A quantitative and qualitative research report into attitudes, behaviours and use (April 2008) www. ofcom .org.uk/advice/media_literacy/medlitpub/medlitpubrss/ socialnetworking /report.pdf - Worldwide Growth of Selected* Social Networking Sites June 2007 vs. June 2006 Total Worldwide Home/Work Locations Among Internet Users Age 15+ Source: comScore World Metrix Social Networking Site Total Unique Visitors (000) Jun-06 Jun-07 % Change MySpace 66,401 114,147 72 Facebook 14,083 52,167 270 Hi5 18,098 28,174 56 Friendster 14,917 24,675 65 Orkut 13,588 24,120 78 Bebo 6,694 18,200 172 Tagged 1,506 13,167 774
Wharton marketing professor David Bell says the long-term success of these sites will depend on their ability to retain the interest of their members. "There is a fad or a fashion component to all these networks. Some will come and go," says Bell. The classic example, he suggests, is Friendster, which burst onto the Internet in 2003 and soon had 20 million visitors. Late last year, it slipped below a million after MySpace and other sites with better music and video capability lured Friendster users away. "A lot of the [success] is serendipitous. These things can have exponential growth. Then, if another community shows up that has better functionality in some way, there can be a mass migration."
~ MySpace, Facebook and Other Social Networking Sites: Hot Today, Gone Tomorrow? ( May 2006) http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=1463
It is clear from the development of social networking sites to date that the sites’ further evolution is uncharted territory for stakeholders and it is difficult to accurately predict what impact this will have on communications, ICT skills and social issues. ~ Ofcom Social Networking A quantitative and qualitative research report into attitudes, behaviours and use (April 2008) www. ofcom .org.uk/advice/media_literacy/medlitpub/medlitpubrss/ socialnetworking /report.pdf -
Facebook 'sees decline in users' (Feb 2008) ‘ Users fell 5% to 8.5 million in January from 8.9 million in December.’ ‘ MySpace users had fallen by 5% in January, while Bebo's audience had fallen 2%.’ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7257073.stm Is Social Networking Dead or Dying? (July 2008) ‘ Although most social networks are still going strong, it appears that the overall market share of social networking sites is beginning to decrease. Hitwise reports that the social networking market share has decreased about 20% year over year’ http://www.bizreport.com/2008/07/ Global survey shows 58% of people don't know what social networking is, plus over one third of social networkers are losing interest (September 2008) Synovate asked adult consumers if they were losing interest in online social networking. Overall, 36% of social network users said yes, led by those in Japan (55%), Slovakia (48%), Canada (47%), Poland (45%) and the US (45%). Social networkers in Indonesia and France were the least likely to be losing interest, at only 18% and 21%, respectively. http://www.synovate.com/news/article/2008/09/ Bubble Alert: Facebook Traffic Declines 10% in April (May 2008) [A significant decline in month-over-month unique visitors to Facebook in the US. In April, traffic fell to 22.4M uniques, down from the 24.9M reported in March. Year-over-year traffic growth decelerated from 98% to 56%. MySpace also saw a slight decline (from 60.3M to 58.7M), while LinkedIn continued its growth from 7.8M uniques in March to 8.6M in April. ~Neilson Online ‘ Although most social networks are still going strong, it appears that the overall market share of social networking sites is beginning to decrease. Hitwise reports that the social networking market share has decreased about 20% year over year’ http://mashable.com/2008/05/20/facebook-traffic-decline/
MySpace now has 73 million unique visitors a month in the U.S., according to comScore, compared to 24 million three years ago. (Facebook has 41 million). That means MySpace reaches about 40 percent of the online population, compared to 14 percent three years ago. Those visitors, on average, spend 263 minutes a month each on the site, versus 83 minutes in 2005.
~ Three Years Later, Buying MySpace Looks Like One Of Murdoch’s Smartest Bets Erick Schonfeld (October 15 2008) TechCrunch.com http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2008/10/15/AR2008101501993.html