Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Social Media: Who's Hot, Who's Not

As a change of pace from using Alexa to rank the Top 25 Marketing Blogs, I thought I'd look at how all the social media/networking sites are doing, and see if any of them are starting to cool off, or are growing quicker than we might have guessed. However, since this entire area is scorching hot, I'm not sure we'll find too many 'not hot' sites, but you never know.

First I'll rank the sites according to overall Alexa score. This will be the 3-month average, the same as we use in the Top 25 Marketing Blogs list, and yes, I may very well have missed a site that you think should have been included, this will just give you an idea. The number in paranthesis shows how many spots up or down the site has moved in the last 3 months:

1 - MySpace(6)(+1)
2 - YouTube(16)(+18)
3 - Wikipedia(17)(No Change)
4 - Blogger(19)(-1)
5 - Flickr(40)(+38)
6 - Friendster (45)(+28)
7 - Facebook(66)(-13)
8 - Digg(100)(+160)
9 - TypePad(131)(+5)
10 - del.icio.us(147)(+239)
11 - Technorati(247)(+272)
12 - Bloglines(320)(+242)
13 - Bebo(340)(+154)
14 - WordPress(402)(+691)
15 - Second Life (3,788)(+608)
16 - Revver(5,191)(+3,908)

You have to be careful when looking at these numbers, because the higher your traffic rank, the more difficult it is to move up. For example, a traffic move from #8 to #5 could be far more significant than moving from #150 to #100. Given this, I think you have to say that YouTube has surpassed MySpace as THE hot Social Media/Web 2.0 whatever you want to call it site of the moment. These numbers seem to also back up the media's shift from MySpace more to YouTube being their media darling. MySpace is relatively flat, and could be very close to peaking, if it hasn't already. But YouTube is white-hot right now.

Flickr is also surging, and I think as the media's attention shifts more toward YouTube, you will see Flickr get some ancillary attention. Also, notice that while MySpace and Facebook are flat or down, that Friendster is up 28 spots. I think that's something that gets lost in the shuffle, usually when the media talks about 'social networking' sites, they mention MySpace, and maybe Facebook. Friendster is usually the odd-man out, but as these social-networking sites seem to be cooling, this lack of attention could actually be helping Friendster, especially if MySpace and Facebook lose their 'cool' factor.

While Typepad is relatively flat, Technorati, Bloglines, and Wordpress are all up solidly. Technorati's performance has always been a sort of barometer for the overall health of the blogosphere, and T-Rati is showing no signs of slowly down.

Digg and Del.icio.us are both up solidly. Also notice that YouTube is getting all the press, but Revver had a huge move. Granted, YouTube's traffic is much higher than Revver's, but the video-monetization site still had a nice jump.

I think the key info to take from these numbers are that the social networking sites are showing signs of slowly down, while the social-media and bookmarking sites are gaining momentum.

Now we'll look at just traffic. This will show how many people are actually visiting each site. The number next to each site is how many people out of every million visited this site, and then what percentage that number as changed over the last 3 months:

1 - Wikipedia - 39,790 (+17%)
2 - Blogger - 34,785 (+3%)
3 - MySpace - 33,530 (+8%)
4 - YouTube - 31,370 (+152%)
5 - Flickr - 9,650 (+79%)
6 - Digg - 7,420 (+132%)
7 - Friendster - 7,295 (+46%)
8 - Typepad - 6,500 (-8%)
9 - Del.icio.us - 4,925 (+123%)
10 - Facebook - 4,310 (-14%)
11 - Bloglines - 3,745 (+79%)
12 - Technorati - 3,465 (+85%)
13 - Wordpress - 3,070 (+172%)
14 - Bebo - 1,135 (+21%)
15 - Revver - 236 (+100%)
16 - Second Life - 213.5 (+24%)

Notice that just based on traffic, everyone is up except for Facebook and Typepad. But again, YouTube has a huge move. If their traffic continues to grow at anywhere close to present rates, they will sail past Wikipedia for the top Social-Media site in a matter of weeks. But again, you see that the guard may be changing.....the top 3 spots all are up only slightly, but starting with YouTube at #4, most of the rest of the list has big moves. The wildcard in this mix could be Revver, as it will be interesting to see if YouTube can pull up the site with it. I think you're going to really see the media start to wake up about YouTube in the next few weeks, which will boost traffic, and probably push the site ahead of MySpace, possibly as soon as the end of the month.


Anonymous said...


Alexa data is heavily biased towards webmasters (who use Alexa to track their website's popularity and that of their competitors).

So while your analysis is fantastic, I am not sure about the quality of the data used (from Alexa).

Matt Cutts, Google engineer, showed how according to Alexa - for awhile his blog was said to have 1/4 the traffic of Ask.com, which if very unlikely.

See more here.

- Daniel

Mack Collier said...

Yes but the closer you get to #1, the more accurate Alexa's rankings become, and since we are dealing with sites that are mostly within the top 100 or 200, I think the results are pretty reliable.