Twitter vs. Facebook vs. MySpace

8 10 2009

The trend graph below from Comscore/Chicago Tribune will likely tell you some things that you already knew, or at least suspected:

  • Facebook is continuing its steady rise in popularity
  • Twitter has experienced exponential growth over the last 12 months but user numbers are now steadying
  • MySpace plateaued, and its popularity is on the decline


Importantly, these trend graphs measure ‘unique visitors’ as opposed to simply restating the total number of registered users. That’s important because it indicates how many people actually decided to login in a given month.*

In this light, the downward trajectory of MySpace looks bad indeed. What’s also interesting is the steadying of Twitter’s growth. I would wager a guess that this illustrates the high rate of churn from people who saw Twitter as the next big thing because of all the media hype, signed up, and then tuned out.

A final word on revenue streams, or lack of them in Twitter’s case. MySpace has a couple. Facebook is now profitable. And Twitter will ‘roll out premium accounts this year’.

Oh dear.

[Sources: Comscore, Chicago Tribune]

* I doubt these numbers reflect people who access Twitter via 3rd party clients though.

The Daily Fail – Digital refusnik of the year?

7 10 2009


The Jackenhack Awards 2009 are just over a week away, and over the past couple of days the nominations have been coming thick and fast. So far, we’ve seen shortlists for:

All the nominations are quite funny, and the ‘one to watch’ in my opinion is the Twitter Twat category.

dailymailThat said, what most caught my eye was the Digital Refusnik Of The Year category. This one is designed to award those who are ‘making the best bid to stay retro’ and ‘refusing to acknowledge carnage in their business and the wider industry’ as a result of things moving digital.

The Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday are among the nominees, and The Jackenhack’s summary for them borders on sublime. Here it is verbatim:

“Anyway, we thought we’d nominate the Mail for suggesting that use of Facebook and Twitter will…

Every now and then (ok, daily) The Daily Fail gets taken to task for it’s over the top headlines or hysteria-inducing editorial.  Chris Applegate’s Daily Mail-o-matic app and Daily Mail Oncological Ontology Project are probably among the nicest examples of this on the web. But I had no idea how utterly insane it was with respect to Twitter/ Facebook until seeing that list.

But anyway, my tickets are bought and hopefully I’ll see you there next week?

Now, back to online crime, drugs, prostitution and pornography

The Jackenhack Awards 2009

[Photo credits: B3ta, Jackenhacks]

Two Facebook resources you should check out

2 10 2009

This week I did some training work with a (very) large corporate and came across the resources below that I thought would be worth highlighting. The training covered six markets (Turkey, Romania, Russia, Poland, the Middle East and India) and delved into social media trends in each. Stating the obvious, uptake and popularity of different social media applications/services varies widely from country to country.

I spent a lot of time online collecting all of the data that I could about usage trends and service popularity in the regions mentioned. The most relevant stuff I think for the UK, is the Facebook stuff below. Plus, I have been on a bit of a Facebook kick as of late so why stop now?

CheckFacebookBookmark this site now. It was developed by Nick Gonzalez, a web analyst specializing in social media and former writer for an obscure blog called TechCrunch.

Each day, tracks data reported from Facebook’s advertising tool to help marketers and researchers understand how Facebook is spreading across the globe.

Mouse over country and up pops an up to date user figure. Select said country and it will give you a demographic breakdown of users. It also tracks the Top 10 Largest Countries on Facebook, as well as the 10 Fastest Growing countries over the past week.

With Facebook hitting 250 million users on 15 July, then cracking 300 million users only two months later on 15 September, this is a handy resource to have.

O’Reilly Research – Active Facebook users by country & region (August 2009)

This presentation is only a month old (or is it a month out of date?) but provides a comparative analysis of Facebook users worldwide. It goes into some depth, providing a global overview of users by age and gender, as well as diving into things at a regional level.

Combine the stats with the presentation template laid out by the O’Reilly Research slide deck and you’ll be well on your way to creating up to date bespoke Facebook research.

Not bad eh?

A day of Facebookery

7 09 2009

facebookI’ve been skilling up my Facebook Fan Page prowess today and thought I would share a few things before shutting down for the day.

First off is the Facebook Fan Page directory which can be found here. As you might expect, you can break down the list of Fan Pages by type of page (e.g. products, TV shows, celebrities, etc.) as well as search them by keyword.

Old news? Yes.

But I often fiddle and search until I find what I’m looking for on Facebook so it’s good to remember that Fan Pages can all be found in one handy place. A treasure trove of case studies for you PR/social media/advertising types (see below).

When you arrive at the page you are greeted by the most popular fan page by number of fans. Top 10?

  1. Michael Jackson – 10,207,298 fans
  2. Barack Obama – 6,689,609 supporters
  3. Vin Diesel – 6,146,520 fans
  4. Facebook – 5,022,715 fans
  5. R.I.P Michael Jackson (We Miss You) – 4,667,851 fans
  6. Pizza – 4,582,169 fan
  7. Will Smith – 4,428,324 fans
  8. I need a vacation!!! – 4,385,516 fans
  9. Dr. House – 4,372,902 fans
  10. Mafia Wars – 3,990,218 fans

Vin DieselI get Obama and the double Michael Jackson entry. I even get Will Smith and that loveable curmudgeon Dr. House. But Vin Diesel? At number 3?

I thought I was Rickrolled.  So I did a quick search and it’s for real:

I no longer have any connection to this world.


To maintain my sanity, I thought I would close by providing a more interesting list of the top 15 official brand Fan Pages (by # of fans):

  1. Facebook – 5,023,105 fans
  2. Starbucks Coffee Company – 3,827,219 fans
  3. Coca-Cola – 3,677,849 fans
  4. YouTube – 3,582,388 fans
  5. Nutella – 3,297,349 fans
  6. Pringles – 2,784,376 fans
  7. kinder surprise – 2,616,879 fans
  8. Live Messenger – 2,493,152 fans
  9. Ferrero Rocher – 2,409,724 fans
  10. adidas Originals – 2,063,395 fans
  11. Victoria’s Secret – 2,026,758 fans
  12. iTunes – 1,849,655 fans
  13. Disney – 1,835,206 fans
  14. Nike Shoes – 1,592,793 fans
  15. Toblerone – 1,511,744 fans

I intend on spending some time over the coming days getting acquainted with some of these in greater detail. I’ll be looking to get a handle on the types of content that can be found on the pages, how they are organised, the frequency with which they are updated, and the degree of community interaction (if any?).  Do check back for updates.

Callan Green from Bailey Gardiner, a San Diego-based agency, wrote guest post on Mashable back in June covering 5 ‘killer’ Facebook Fan Pages and included Pringles (6), Coca Cola (3), Starbucks, Adidas (10) and Red Bull. That is definitely worth checking out.

Useful Facebook Links:

Face Book Blogs:

Tasty social networking stats

21 07 2009

Facebook’s king Mark Zuckerberg proudly announced on the Facebook blog last week that the popular web destination is continuing its global dominance by jumping from 200 million to 250 million users. That’s over 50 million users in three months.

So if you like visualisations then you’ll love the timeline they released which tracks Facebook’s staggering worldwide growth to the quarter billion milestone on a map. Can’t seem to embed it here unfortunately, but click below to check it out.


Although it’s rapidly becoming the main social network everywhere around the world, Brian Solis reminds us on his PR 2.0 blog that ‘local players’ in a number of countries are giving Facebook a run for its money in their local languages. Worth remembering so check out the full post here.

Next up is comScore who released some findings from its World Metrix audience measurement service.  Chief among them:

  • 29.4 million people accessed at least one social networking site in the U.K. in May, averaging 4.6 hours per visitor during the month
  • ranked as the most popular social networking site with 23.9 million visitors, followed by (8.5 million visitors), Windows Live Profile(6.9 million visitors) and MySpace Sites (6.5 million visitors)
  • Social network penetration was highest amongst 25-34 year old Internet users, 89 percent of whom visited the category during the May
  • 15-24 year olds followed with 86 per cent

Here again, Facebook is out in front by a wide margin which tends to support an assertion made recently by the Silicon Valley Insider: ‘Facebook members don’t visit the site; they live on it.’

The social web’s most engaged brands

20 07 2009

Interesting report out today about which big brands are doing the ‘best job’ online across a number of social media channels. The study was conducted by analyst Charlene Li of the Altimeter Group and Wetpaint, and ‘ranks the top 100 brands by ‘social media engagement’. The social media channels in question include blogs, Facebook, Twitter, wikis, and discussion forums.

Amazingly, the study claims a correlation between social media engagement and revenue growth. Working in social media marketing/PR, this is music to my ears. But I’m inclined to agree with TechCrunch’s Erick Schonfeld:

I really doubt that their level of social media engagement had anything to do with their revenue growth, it is just that the strongest brands are the most engaged.

That said, this study was conducted by former Forrester Analyst Li (Groundswell anyone?) so I wouldn’t count the findings out completely.

So who comes out on top?

  1. Starbucks (127)
  2. Dell (123)
  3. eBay (115)
  4. Google (105)
  5. Microsoft (103)
  6. Thomson Reuters (101)
  7. Nike (100)
  8. Amazon (88)
  9. SAP (86)
  10. Tie – Yahoo!/Intel (85)

I love lists, but I love case studies even more and the report contains some best practices from Starbucks, Dell, SAP and Toyota. Its definitely worth a skim.

For me, the report highlights the need to keep my finger on the pulse of what other brands are doing online – and learning from it. When I come across a decent case study online I tend to file it on my Delicious profile under a ‘casestudy’ tab for future reference.

Some notable case studies include US electronics retailer Best Buy and soft drink giant Coca Cola, by Robin Grant from We Are Social. Michael Litman from Consolidated also did a smashing job a few months ago with his Mashable post about the Compare the Meerkat campaign. Beyond that, here are a few others that caught my eye recently:

Am I missing any?

[Full report – ENGAGEMENT: Most Engaged Brands On Social Media]

[Photo and article via TechCrunch]

Michael Jackson in numbers. Shamone.

7 07 2009

Earlier this morning I tweeted an article that I thought, at the time, might have been overstating things a bit:


No doubt the memorial service was  expected to be big, but the biggest event in the history of the internet? I was a bit skeptical. But the article rightly pointed out that:

Since Jackson’s death almost two weeks ago, fans have been inundating social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace with comments, tributes and downloads, while searches for Jackson-related news have reached record levels on Google and Yahoo.

The ‘morning after’ he featured prominently on my Spotify playlist. And scrolling back over my Twitter activity the last couple weeks, I’ve made my fair share of #MJ related Tweets (here, here and here for example).

I can’t really comment on the ‘biggest event in history’ but on reflection, I think the Times might have had a point to an extent. The last couple weeks have been pretty significant and a number of services have been showing signs of Michael Jackson-related strain. So I’ve decided to go back and compile many Michael Jackson online stats as I could, to get a sense of the enormity of what’s been happening. There’s certainly been no shortage of them:

(Credit: Google)

I could go on but you get the picture – it’s been a pretty mad couple of weeks! I think the figures above show not just a morbid fascination with Michael’s death, but also a celebration of his life to an extent.

Something tells me that Michael’s story online won’t end anytime soon.

Do comment or let me know if I’ve missed any significant stats/figures/etc.