Several major social networking sites – those with at least 10 million monthly visitors – have undergone dramatic global growth during the past year, according to a comScore study on the expansion of social networking across the globe.
Among comScore’s data on select sites’ year-over-year growth and visitation numbers:
- Social networking behemoth MySpace.com attracted more than 114 million global visitors age 15 and older in June 2007 – a 72% increase from a year ago.
- Facebook.com experienced even stronger growth during that same time frame, jumping 270% to 52.2 million visitors.
- Bebo.com (up 172% to 18.2 million visitors) and Tagged.com (up 774% to 13.2 million visitors) also increased by orders of magnitude.
- MySpace averaged 28.8 million visitors daily in June 2007 – 72% more than a year earlier
- Facebook’s average of daily visitors exploded 299%, reaching 14.9 million in June 2007 from 3.7 million a year earlier.
“Literally hundreds of millions of people around the world are visiting social networking sites each month and many are doing so on a daily basis. It would appear that social networking is not a fad but rather an activity that is being woven into the very fabric of the global Internet,” said Bob Ivins, executive vice president of international markets.
While attracting global users, specific social networks have a tendency to skew in popularity in different regions, comScore found: For example, both MySpace.com (with 62%) and Facebook.com (with 68%) attract approximately two-thirds of their audiences from North America.
Nevertheless, each has already amassed a large international visitor base and both appear poised to continue their global expansion, comScore said.
Bebo.com has a particularly strong grasp on Europe, attracting nearly 63% of its visitors from that region, while Orkut is firmly entrenched in Latin America (49%) and Asia-Pacific (43%), according to the data.
Friendster also attracts a significant proportion of its visitors (89%) from Asia-Pacific, and both Hi5.com and Tagged.com exhibit more balance, drawing at least 8% from each of the five regions.
“A fundamental aspect of the success of social networking sites is cultural relevance. Those doing well in certain regions are likely doing an effective job of communicating appropriately with those regions’ specific populations,” said Ivins. “As social networking continues to evolve, it will be exciting to see if networks are able to cross cultural barriers and bring people from different corners of the globe together in fulfilling the truest ideals of social networking.”