Membership Is Doubtful

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MySpace, a social networking site with a population of 200 million user profiles, was one of the first of these types of sites to gain serious media attention when it was purchased by News Corporation (the parent company of Fox Broadcasting) in July 2005 for US$580 million. Before the popularity of MySpace exploded, the social networking scene was dominated by Friendster, a site that lost most of its momentum when its online membership was passed by Myspace in 2004. Google offered US$30 million to buy out Friendster in 2003, but they were turned down and to this day remains one of the biggest blunders of Silicon Valley, according to Associated Press.

Facebook appears to be the hot new social networking site of the times generating an estimated US$150 to 300 million in advertising revenue so far this year. Facebook turned down a US$1billion offer from Yahoo and a US$1.3 billion offer from Microsoft earlier in the year. Facebook is looking for funding of US$50 million to US$250 million that could potentially value the company at US$10 billion.

But why so much interest in Facebook? It is popular with over 39 milliion users… but Friendster has over 50 million users and MySpace has over 200 million. Both of these sites saw their popularity plummet after becoming mainstream. There are many other social networking sites out there also. Hi5 has 50 million users, Orkut has 68 million and the up-and-coming Bebo has close to 34 million users.

What is the future for social networking and why do we want to do the same thing as 50 million other people? What ever happened to individualism and being part of something unique. Small elite networks do still exist. It’s just a matter of finding them.

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3 comments so far

  1. Return on Effort on

    i why are you worrying about the number of the users ?
    they will keep on adding ,

  2. cakke on

    First I would like to acknowledge that there is a distiction between “active users” and “profiles” on these social networking sites. I am not as concerned with the profiles that these sites contain as much as the active users that return regularly. We can see a direct correlation between the decrease of active users as the amount of advertising increases. The advertising revenue for these sites is dependent upon these acitve users, not member profiles.

    You are correct in saying that the number of profiles will indeed continue to grow, but I think we will see the active users begin to disperse between social networking sites as some stay loyal to the site they are with and others move on to be a part of the next less mainstream social networking site that is not inundated with advertising.

  3. […] the exception of “.com”. The recent popularity of the fingerstache has sparked a new social networking community of people dedicated to the faux facial hair at fingerstache.com . Although we doubt […]


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