- Internet & the Web
What are the Most Popular Social Network Sites?
What are the most popular social networks?
Unless you've been living on Mars, or some other suitably remote place, for the last few years then you will know the answer to this question. In case you've come back from five years of solitary meditation in the middle of the desert, I'll tell you. It's Facebook. However the more relevant question is probably, 'Which is the Most Popular Social Network apart from Facebook?'
Measuring the popularity of Social Network sites
To answer the question of which is the most popular or successful social network besides Facebook, you would have to look at various different sets of data. Each one would potentially give you a different answer, so you would have to weigh up the importance of each one. Here are some of the questions you would want to ask for each social network to get an idea of its popularity.
- How many registered users does it have? This is the largest figure, and one that is often quoted. It includes everyone who currently uses the site, and everyone who ever has (and hasn't deleted their account or lost it through long inactivity)
- How many active users does it have? This is perhaps more relevant but the answer will depend on how you define active users. People who use it daily? Weekly? At least once a month?
- Amount of time on site - amount of time active users spend on the site on average each week or month.
- Number of websites that link to the social network's website.
- Number of page views
The first three are arguably the most important for social networks and social media sites, the latter two are more general measurements used to determine the popularity of websites.
Just How Popular is Facebook?
It helps to get a measure of Facebook's popularity, to use as a benchmark against other social networks. Because it is so successful and popular, they are also the site who most freely and willingly supply popularity data.
Number of active monthly users: In April 2012, Facebook revealed that it had 901 million active monthly users (presumably using the service at least once a month). It doesn't tend to quote registered users, as a) it doesn't need to, the numbers are so big anyway, and b) It doesn't want you to think there are people who registered and maybe used to use the site but don't anymore.
Number of active daily users - 526 million according to Facebook in April 2012.
Amount of time on site - 11-22 minutes a day or 8 hours per month, depending on what report you read (they don't add up to the same)
Pageviews - They are so big, this is best measured as a % of global internet page views. 5.3% of all pageviews are Facebook's.
Other stats - 3.2 billion comments per day, 300 million photos added daily. Sites linking to Facebook - 7.3 million. 44% of global internet users visit Facebook at some point.
Google Plus is a tricky one to give accurate statistics for, due to the clever wording used by people at Google, and due to the increasing integration with other Google products. However this is what we do know:
Monthly active users - 100 million. Definition of active is that they use the site at least once a month, however the wording of the statement giving this information suggests this may include people who have signed up with Google Plus, but only visit Google.com and Youtube etc and not Google Plus, due to the way they are integrated.
Number of active daily users - 50 million, though similar issues to the monthly users stats mentioned above.
Time on site - Controvertially, ComScore, an internet stats business, claims that Google Plus users spend only 3.3 minutes a month on Google Plus, compared to 8 hours on Facebook. This doesn't include mobile and other remote users however.
Number of visits to Google Plus - 61 million visits a month in March 2012, up 27% from the previous month. Unique visitors is 22 million per month.
Twitter is a relative old hand in social networking now. It may not be the hot new thing it once was, but it still packs a punch.
Number of registered users - 560 million
Number of active users - 140 million
Time on site - 21 minutes per month
LinkedIn is a professional social networking site, used by companies and their employees, small businesses and recruitment consultants amongst others.
Number of members - 150 million (and increasing at a rate of 2 people per second)
Time on site - 17 minutes a month
Unique monthly visitors - 28 million
And the rest...
Pinterest - This is one of the hot new social networking sites, with 10 million + registered users, 2.5% of internet users visiting the site, and average monthly time on the site was 89 minutes, well above Twitter, Google Plus or LinkedIn.
Tumblr - The social networking and blogging site has 40 million registered users, spending an average time of 89 minutes a month (yes, same as Pinterest) on the site.
Facebook is so far in front of the others, they are lost on the horizon somewhere. Google Plus has a lot of catchup to play, but is growing quickly, thanks mostly to the enormous resources Google is bringing to bear, not least using their dominance in search and video to leverage more users. Twitter is fairly steady and not going anywhere fast, and LinkedIn is growing strongly but is operating in a somewhat different arena to the rest. Then there's newer sites like Pinterest, Tumblr and others, which are growing incredibly fast, but it is early days. It will be an interesting year or two ahead, seeing if anyone can close the gap on Facebook.
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