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Facebook Overtakes MySpace

YourSpace is shrinking.

June 18, 2009 | Social Media

In May 2009, Facebook became the most popular US social networking site.

But it was close.

According to comScore, Facebook totaled 70,278,000 unique visitors, up 97% from May 2008 to May 2009. MySpace hits shrank 5% over the same timeframe, fading to 70,255,000 unique visitors.

Top 20 Social Networking Sites Among US Internet Users, May 2008 & May 2009 (thousands of unique visitors and % change)

Possibly in response to the trend, MySpace downsized around 400 employees.

“Simply put, our staffing levels were bloated and hindered our ability to be an efficient and nimble team-oriented company,” said MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta in a statement.

MySpace still dominates Facebook in one important respect—advertising. MySpace visitors viewed 31.8 million ads in April 2009, accounting for almost 47% of the total social network advertising space. Facebook was second, serving nearly 25 million ads and making up about 37% of the sector.

Top 10 US Social Networking Sites, Ranked by Total Display Ad Views, April 2009 (millions and % share)

In third place was Tagged, which served 2.4 million ads, or 3.6% of publisher views.

MySpace also led the revenue category, predicted to earn $495 million in 2009, 115% more than its rival.

US Online Social Network Advertising Spending, by Venue, 2008 & 2009 (millions and % of total)

The revenue gap will likely close.

MySpace entered into an advertising agreement with Google in 2006 that would pay the social network roughly $300 million a year, ending in June 2010. But TechCrunch reported that a new deal between Google and MySpace would be worth only $50 million to $75 million yearly, punching a big hole in the social network’s revenues.

“Facebook is becoming the go-to social networking site for marketers,” said eMarketer senior analyst Debra Aho Williamson. “While MySpace still has a huge quantity of visitors, they are becoming less relevant for advertisers.”

That’s bad for any space.



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