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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Are Social Networks Right For You?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Social networking sites... are they all they're cracked up to be? Well, if you want to tap into a large pool of people who spend a large portion of their time online, you can't ignore social networking websites.

According to data from Hitwise, a popular website, MySpace pulled in 76 percent of US visits to social networking websites in 2007, and 95 percent of them were return visitors in December. This can be interpreted that not only is MySpace commanding the vast majority of the social networking market, but also inspires some pretty fierce loyalty.

Facebook, the nearest social network competitor, pulled in 12.57 percent of US visits, which would be impressive if MySpace didn't exist but pales in comparison. Keep in mind however that each caters to a slightly different audience. If you're targeting an older crowd, Facebook may be the right site for you.

It's not as gloomy for Facebook as it is overhyped. Year-over-year, Facebook grew by 50 percent and took market share from MySpace, which experienced an eight percent drop in share between December 2006 and December 2007. And Facebook visitors are also loyal, with a 93 percent visitor return rate.

If you're considering tapping into social networking, start with the biggest and best. There are tons of other sites out there in this arena - most trying to duplicate the success of MySpace and Facebook!


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