Around a decade ago, social websites were little known. They were not being used as much as they are today. One of the popular websites back then was MySpace (current has over 100 million registered users) which opened up a new chapter on internet socialisation. But it still wasn’t as popular as today’s social sites. The births of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and soon-to-be-made-public Google+ has truly become a revolution on how people connect and communicate with each other. Most people nowadays have at least one account in social networking sites.
There are many reasons why social sites have become so popular and one of the most discussed topics around the world. Some people don’t have the time to socialise with friends physically, so they choose a more convenient way to connect with friends in the cyber world. Some feel shy and communicating with other people online is easier for them to express themselves. Some just want to tell all their friends what they are currently doing by just posting a simple line of texts instead of sending each one of their friends a message or an email. There are still many more reasons why social networking sites now become a part of people every day’s life.
Website tracking and monitoring
In this article, we are going to explore why those sites have become so much well-known and been being used as daily’s activities. We specifically look at the number of unique visitors to those sites to see how the sites have been growing over the course of recent 6 to 12 months. There are a few sites that offer the tracking and monitoring service. Among them, Alexa and Compete seem to provide better and more accurate statistics. We will be using Compete to analyse our research in this article. Compete provides us with the number of unique visitors whereas Alexa only shows percentage; thus Compete suits us best in this situation.
We will be looking at the 3 social networking sites today. They are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We are unfortunately unable to provide any analysis for Google+ as the site is pretty new and only selected few people can access the site through invitation program for a field-test. Not much information has been released for Google+ but people are looking forward to using a new service and what it has to offer.
As everyone may have heard of Facebook (FB) at least once, it is currently one of the most popular social sites in the world. Established in 2004, FB now has over 640 million subscribers and the number is still growing. After only 7 years in the market, FB now holds the top record of number of subscribers far more than any other sites. So what has contributed so much in helping FB make a big jump in the market and become a symbol that people love? Let’s look at the following figure:
As you can see that the number of unique visitors to FB according to Compete has jumped around 20 million people per month (13.33% increase) for the total of almost 150 million visits per month over the last 12 months. As mentioned earlier, FB has only been out for 7 years. The figure in the recent year has proved that Facebook is now more and more popular. Before FB, it was hard for people to keep in touch with their friends or at least let friends know what they are doing. FB has done something previously thought not possible that helps create a play field that connects people interactively. People can now post tons of pictures, messages, comment on their friends’ posts or even play a simple game with their friends. The idea of putting people together has won them over. That’s exactly what people need. In the modern society, people are too busy in the ever day’s rat race to earn a living and don’t really have the time for a social chat. FB creates the opportunity for them to be together. Even people with few friends can make hundreds of new friends only by simply adding them to their FB account. Another popular use of FB is celebrities’ fan clubs. Previously, you need some web skills in order to build a fan website and spend lots of time administering it. These days, creating a FB fan page is as simple as a few clicks of the mouse. And to prove the popularity of this feature, we can look at some celebrities’ fan page such as Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.
Twitter is another giant after Facebook in the social networking market. The concept of Twitter is very simple. It creates a space for people to post their messages to update their current status about whatever they are doing. Then it notifies any followers about any new updates they have. Although Twitter is one of the youngsters in the social market, it has solidified itself in the world with over 175 million subscribers in just 5 years.
Twitter has steadily been growing over the last 12 months and currently clocked up at around 32 million visits per month (8% increase). The graph shows an interesting figure during the months of January to March when there was a sudden rise in the usage. One of the reasons contributing to this is the recent rebellion in Egypt where all of the media communications were blocked. That leaves only a few choices to update the world with the current state of the rebel. People turned to Twitter as a primary mean to let people at other parts of the world know what has been going on in the country. As Twitter is one of the easiest way to update the current status, it’s been widely used for any big events to let people know what’s happening such as the recent civil war in Libya. Twitter has now been integrated into most of the current mobile devices so that people can easily post something on the account in just a few seconds.
LinkedIn is one of the “old guys” in social networking. Having been out there for 8 years, it has attracted a base of over 120 million users, mostly business and professional types. The site is used to help business and professional people telling others about what they have done recently in their job and which jobs that they undertook in the past along with all of their experience.
The graph shows LinkedIn had a 30% increase in their number of visitors (from 14 million to 21 million visitors per month in just 12 months). As you may know, one of the means to get a job is through networking. It is a hidden market for jobs and many people may still not realise. LinkedIn offers an efficient way for people to connect with each other and may probably exchange job opportunities online. Employers can easily search for their potential employees in here as a LinkedIn profile acts like an online CV. After a few recent recessions and rise of unemployment rate, people need a good source of jobs. And LinkedIn does just that.