Tuesday, July 11, 2006

MySpace moves into #1 position for all Internet sites

I know, I know, I keep mentioning MySpace. Like it or not, though, it keeps growing in popularity. Indeed, as reported today, MySpace has for the first time become the most visited US Web site, surpassing Yahoo! Mail and Google. Surprised? Yes, me too. As this Hitwise post indicates, visits to MySpace have increased by 4300% in the past two years.

How has MySpace achieved such phenomenal growth so quickly? Hitwise promises to answer this question with an analysis soon. In the meantime, you can read the cover story from the most recent issue of Wired magazine--an interesting discussion of Rupert Murdoch's acquisition of MySpace last year, and his highly successful hands-off business strategy. The article mentions that MySpace might grow out of its core demographic as everybody hops on the bandwagon:

what happens when the audience is part of the show? Participation feeds on itself, cementing established users and drawing new ones. Curious colonists from other demographics are already arriving. Forget the putative horror of being owned by Rupert Murdoch – will a sudden deluge of millions of thirtysomethings send their younger siblings running in the other direction? Senior citizens? Foreigners? (Google’s attempt at social networking, Orkut, has morphed inexplicably into a hangout for teenage Brazilians.) OMG!!! Mom has a MySpace profile!!!!!
As I mentioned in a previous post, however, I don't see this happening. Instead, I believe that social networking sites that target specific demographic groups will continue to appear. Mark my words: we'll see popular MySpace equivalents for 50- and 60-somethings soon. As reported in the Wired Bodyhack blog last week (a post that yours truly was quick to comment on), My Cancer Place has already materialized: "The #1 place to join a community of people with cancer." There will be many more such sites.


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