It seems hard to imagine just six years ago, MySpace was created, revolutionizing the internet. It can be said that MySpace was the beginning of what we all now know as social media. Two short years later, Facebook came into the picture.
Facebook has steadily grown while MySpace has been declining. It was less than a year ago that MySpace had more visitors than Facebook. However, according to comScore, MySpace had 124 million monthly unique visitors last month, a decline of 2%. In contrast, Facebook garnered 276 million unique visitors, an increase of 16.6%.
According to the graph below from Compete, Facebook overtook MySpace in December 2008 and continues its growth, while MySpace experiences a sharp decline in visitors.
While the largest demographic on Facebook is ages 18-25, the fastest growing demographic is women aged 55 and over. This could be a major contributing reason for Facebook surpassing MySpace in the number of visitors.
By now, we know that internet users are very fickle and what is today’s social hot spot could be tomorrows passing fad. By this time next year, we could start to see other social networks, like Twitter or LinkedIn surpassing these social media giants, making both Facebook and MySpace yesterday’s new.
Twitter’s on the rise, Facebook has reached 200 million users, and Myspace continues to try and keep up. The quick user interaction via Twitter and Facebook rapidly leaves Myspace trailing. But when it comes down to social media marketing, Myspace is still at the top. After partnering with Google and recent upgrades of Myspace Mobile, Myspace aims to accommodate today’s swift social network users, but they’re still playing catch-up.
Everyone’s Tweeting. Companies are promoting themselves, while big corporations use Twitter as a huge instant survey on what their consumers think. The volume is there in terms of traffic for advertising but are Twitter users planning to click on ads while tweeting? The majority of Twitter updates are from done directly from cell phones. Consequently, the vast amounts of tweeters aren’t viewing a web page. Phone updates takes users away from websites and clicking onto other webpages. Continuous Twitter updates and one on one relationships can be overwhelming for users; especially those who are used to the web page experience adopted from the Myspace world of social networking. Single webpages may be the saving grace for Myspace.
Facebook has been the biggest influence for Myspace advancements. If it wasn’t for Facebook and its application updates, some Myspace users may not have lasted as long as they have. It doesn’t seem to matter what applications Myspace migrates from Facebook, because Facebook still takes the lead with reaching 200 million users who are escalating in age, aside from their college users; but these 200 million users are hesitant to click on ads. Facebook’s user increase hasn’t converted into major advertising revenues. Facebook experienced a fifty percent decrease in the amount of users that clicked on ads from 2007 to 2008. Advertisers are just beginning to grasp the user behavior of Facebook and are shifting their focus on branding as a result.
Myspace does stand alone on one thing that has been taken lightly; the Self Service advertising platform that they offer users. SelfServe by MySpace is for display ads on profile pages. Google has a partnership agreement with Myspace which allows advertisers in Google to create ads for Myspace. This agreement had no influence on Myspace’s ad service platform which is similar to Google Adwords. However MySpace platform is geared toward building display ads, not text ads. This similar ad arrangement conveys the same user experience with ads as they do within the Google Adwords search engine. Myspace might be on to something, particularly given that they exclusively use this ad platform layout.
In order for Myspace to stay relevant in social media, it has to be less time consuming. Viewing photo albums and having to comment individually on your friend’s page will begin to push away users who have become accustomed to the quick phone updates and interactions available through Twitter and Facebook. Myspace is dominant in social media advertising, but in order to remain prevalent, the trend of user interaction has to be considered. Users want quick and that’s what Twitter gives them.
With all due respect, you pretty much have to be living under a rock if you have not at least heard of one or more of the following Social Media sites: Facebook, MySpace or Twitter. There’s also Friendster, Multiply, etc. etc. The list is endless.
Social Media is literally all around us. Your elementary school boyfriend (or girlfriend) wants to be your friend on Facebook. You can log on to check your Yoga studio’s schedule, even view your kid’s baseball practice updates. The talk show host/comedian, Ellen Degeneres, is asking you to “follow her” on Twitter and became a “fan” of her Facebook page to win exclusive prizes. Milwaukee Bucks forward Charlie Villanueva recently got into trouble for Tweeting (making a post in Twitter) during half time of a tie game. Need I say more?
Social Media has not only caught the attention of celebrities, NBA stars, tweens, teens, twenty, thirty and forty something’s; even Senior Citizens have taken notice. That’s right; your very own grandma is getting social!
OK, so she may not be sending you a friend request on Facebook or asking you to follow her on Twitter, but she could very well be on sites specifically tailored for seniors and baby boomers alike. These channels are an easy way for seniors to be active participants in the online community without feeling like they do not belong there.
Some of these sites include: Genkvetch, Seniorocity, ThirdAge, Eons and SeniorPeopleMeet. Genkvetch just enjoyed some nice PR in the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel on March 23rd. Their home page targets seniors by asking, “Out of place at Facebook, MySpace, and Friendster? Then this is your space!”
I think it’s wonderful that elders have a myriad of choices with respect to social media networks especially targeted to them. They can read and discuss topics of interest with people of similar ages. If the desire is there to engage in social media, there are channels available to suit all ages and interests!