Facebook: Biggest AND Fastest-Growing Social Network

As Erik Schonfeld wrote today on TechCrunch, Facebook is blowing away the other social networks both in monthly unique visitors and in growth rate.

Even though Facebook is now the largest social network in the world,—with 132 million unique visitors in June—it is also still the fastest growing.

(At least among the major social networks). According to figures compiled by comScore, Facebook’s visitor growth is up 153 percent on an annual basis. This compares to anemic 3 percent growth for MySpace. Other social networks showing strong global growth include Hi5 (100 percent) and Friendster (50 percent), despite each of those being less than half the size of Facebook. Orkut and Bebo fall in at 41 percent and 32 percent growth, respectively.

Read the whole story here: Facebook Is Not Only The World’s Largest Social Network, It Is Also The Fastest Growing.

When I first started writing extensively about Facebook a little over a year ago, it was growing by 3 percent a week. At that time, MySpace was the bigger player and was growing more slowly, but that was rationalized by many as a byproduct of its size: when the denominator is huge, you can’t expect the percentage growth rate to keep up with smaller competitors.

Erik analyzes what’s driving the growth for Facebook, and clearly the user-contributed translation to other languages has been the major factor. But even in North America, Facebook’s growth was 38 percent. That compares favorably with any of the other sites, and is more than 10 times the growth rate for MySpace.

One question: Where does LinkedIn fit in? Why is it nowhere to be found on these comScore charts?

I guess that’s two questions. But if anyone has the answers, I’d love to hear them and I sure so would our SMUG student body.

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Author: Lee Aase

Married father of six and grandfather of nine, and the Chancellor of SMUG - Social Media University, Global. By day I'm the Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. Whatever I say here is my personal opinion, and doesn't reflect the positions of my employer.

7 thoughts on “Facebook: Biggest AND Fastest-Growing Social Network”

  1. I don’t know the answers but my guess is that it has something to do with LinkedIn’s clientele. Also, from personal experience, LinkedIn is not as user-friendly and intuitive as Facebook (although some would argue with me on that!). Last reason: LinkedIn is for professionals and is not as much fun as Facebook!

  2. Lee,
    Thanks for another really valuable post. In answer to your question, I’ve been using the new status change feature of the Boston Bar Association’s LinkedIn Group to say stuff like: The Boston Bar Association is delighted to report 93 Fans on its Facebook. Whether I can use LinkedIn to drive traffic to our Facebook page is still soon to tell, but it’s worth a try.

  3. Lee:
    My sense of it is similar to Bonnie’s: LinkedIn members seem more oriented to their (our) professions than Facebook’s members, who seem to be there for fun. We have enough work at work; let’s have some fun! On a related note, I’d be interested to hear from fellow SMUGgles (?) whether they use Facebook for their employee social networking site or have something (an application) they use on their own servers (inside the firewall) for that purpose. Thanks!

  4. Hey, Jim – I think SMUGgles might just stick as our nickname for the student body; if we had any athletic teams.

    I’d be interested in hearing from other about whether they are using intranet-based social networking software on their own servers.

    As I’ve written before, I think Facebook gives a good opportunity to experiment and prove the value of social networking without any expense. Then if you decide you want to go with your own package behind the firewall, you at least know what features are important to you.

  5. In a word FUN! Facebook is about fun and work and networking and meeting people and trying out new stuff. Linked In is well just. Plus I just moved to the latest Firefox and can’t get into LinkedIn – Facebook no prob. Only way around getting into my LinkedIn is by logging onto EI. I’ve searched the FAQ’s and help sections, emailed cust service and still no hope. Facebook easy to access … just had dinner with a group of parents where I talked about all the fun I’m having on Facebook………

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