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Facebook Overtakes MySpace

YourSpace is shrinking.

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.

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.

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.

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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