Facebook is Not the Top Social Network in America, Yet

myspace-myads.jpgJust yesterday, MySpace announced the release of their myAds Beta self-serve Ads platform. As part of it, similar to Facebook’s self-serve Ads platform, they released an automatic statistics engine, now available to any user that goes through the motions of setting up an Ad. The new engine allows a glimpse into the MySpace userbase. What’s even more interesting is that you can do the same on Facebook, now allowing very accurate comparisons of the two platforms when determining where you should advertise or build an Application. Based on these comparisons, it would appear that, while Facebook traffic seems to be going up and MySpace traffic seems to be going down, Facebook still has far to go before catching up with MySpace in North America, at least in regards to number of users.

Here are the results I came up with – note that myAds only allows statistics for North America, so I was unable to do a comparison of the countries outside of the region. All these stats are North America-specific:

North America as a Whole:

Facebook: 33,3393,820 users
MySpace: 83,895,693 users

Males:

Facebook: 14,538,700 – 43.5% of total
MySpace: 37,653,707 – 44.88% of total

Females:

Facebook: 18,804,380 – 56.3% of total
MySpace: 46,241,986 – 55.11% of total

25+ Age Range:

Facebook: 12,649,720 – 37.88% of total
MySpace: 30,804,487 – 36.71% of total

24- Age Range:

Facebook: 20,722,540 – 62.05% of total
MySpace: 53,089,687 – 63.28% of total

Based on these statistics, as mentioned, MySpace dominates the North American market. Of the demographic break-up, the two sites seem neck-and-neck, so where you target your marketing and apps may really bring you over to MySpace first, and Facebook second. While minute, Facebook does seemingly have a stronger female to male ratio, as well as a ratio of those 25 and older. That would make sense considering Facebook reports their largest growing customer-base is the 25 and older generation.

What would be an even more interesting study would be why users come to each of the sites. Where Facebook seems to accommodate all businesses with their “Page” business profiles, MySpace seems to be targeting the Band and Movie genre. With categorized demographics, MySpace makes it easy to generate statistics based on these demographics, but Facebook doesn’t seem to make it very easy, relying mostly on keywords that pull from the Info section of a user’s profile. It would be hard to do a comparison in this area.

Now, if you compare actual traffic, it gets even more interesting. According to compete.com, Facebook has been increasing very steadily, while MySpace traffic is decreasing. It’s hard to tell if this is a reflection of the user-base, or of simple engagement within the site. If MySpace’s userbase has been growing, MySpace needs to do some serious consideration of how to increase traffic and PageViews within the site, because in this area in general, Facebook is about to overtake MySpace.

So while Facebook is hot on the tail of MySpace, it would appear that it still has far to go in North America. Facebook still needs to double in size in North America before they get even close. If I were to target Facebook I would target a more global audience for now.

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