Friday, 12 June 2009

Facebook leaves Myspace lagging behind.

In May 2008, Facebook’s total number of unique visitors surpassed that of MySpace and social media organisations the world over were silenced. Facebook had surfaced with a total of 123.9 million unique visitors. What had become of the social network that had a three year head-start? What had it done wrong?

Launched in August 2003, Myspace was the pioneer of social-networking sites, offering a free platform with no obligations. It encouraged users to customise their profile pages by entering HTML and musicians went a-wall when given the opportunity to share 6 MP3 songs. Currently over 8 million artists have been discovered on Myspace and there are those select few such as Lily (granted she does have a famous dad) and M.I.A who managed to propel themselves from Myspace haven to the global music domain.

Facebook had its inception in 2007 and offered many of the same features as Myspace including: banner ads, creating customized profiles and the ability to increase or decrease the level of visitor restrictions. However, it also features the Wall, Pokes, Photos, News Feed, Facebook Notes, Chat and Gifts and an ever-expanding number of applications. Eventually Myspace caught on to the photo tagging frenzy and were quick to add the option.

The most significant difference between the two websites is the level of customisation. Facebook presents a rather simple and easy to use interface which only allows plain text as opposed to HTML and CSS. Its ‘dummy-proof’ approach was a big winner with those less technologically inclined, who assumed Brazilian band CSS had collaborated with Myspace. It is especially popular with the adults.

In April 2009, it was found that a greater percentage of visitors aged between 25 and 34 and 35 and 49 were logging onto Facebook. In contrast, the highest indexing demographics on were people aged 18 to 24 and 12-17.

According to web information company Alexa, Facebook's ranking among all websites went from 60th to 7th from September 2006 to September 2007. In Indonesia it holds 1st place, in the United Kingdom it is at 2nd place and both the United States and Australia rank it at number 3.

The social influx from Myspace to Facebook is evidence that every social networking site is disposable and unless you stay relevant you will only get left behind.

Watch your back Twitter.

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I am more than prone to monologues; however, this is solely due to the manner in which they compliment a witty anecdote and their ability to resemble concrete evidence when it is so obviously lacking. I often wish I could emulate that aloof character who coolly stands in the corner smiling mysteriously as if she has a secret. However, I fear resisting the temptation to involve myself in other people’s conflicts and responding through body language rather than verbose banter may come across as contrived and arrogant. And, I am not willing to take that chance.

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