Hitwise report sheds light on social networking website market share

MySpace, Facebook and other social networking sites are in the news frequently of late, mostly for things that are bad. Yet with all of the bad press these sites get, they still have massive user bases and generate huge amounts of web traffic.

InformationWeek reports that MySpace gobbled up the majority of traffic in 2007 to social networking sites with a massive 76.3% of the market according to numbers from Hitwise. The second place site for overall traffic was Facebook with a distant 12.57% of the social networking site traffic.

Bebo was third with a scant 1.24% of the traffic, BlackPlanet had 0.87% of the traffic and the remaining sites out of the 53 leading social networking sites counted by Hitwise accounted for 8.97% of U.S. social networking visits.

Even though MySpace garners the most visits of any U.S. social networking site by far, the biggest growth in the social networking space top four comes from Facebook. Hitwise says that Facebook grew by 51% with a total market share of 16.03% in December. The biggest gains over all in measured social networking sites came from little known MyYearbook, the number seven social networking site online, grew a massive 407% in December to claim 0.73% of the total social networking traffic.

The two biggest social networking sites, MySpace and Facebook, have both had significant legal issues recently. MySpace was sued by the parents of a teen who killed herself after being assaulted by a man she met on the site. MySpace also recently agreed to third-party monitoring of its site in a deal with 49 states. Facebook filed legal action in December against attackers seeking to steal information on its site users.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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