Assuming the stats behind these graphs are accurate, the UK appears to have passed yet another tipping point in the relentless growth of social network websites.
- Social networks accounted for 5.17% of all UK Internet visits, compared to 4.98% for webmail services:
- Social networks referred more traffic to other websites than webmail services:
Email is truly dying a slow and painful death. (Yep, I know these figures are not including non-webmail email but…)
(Attribution: all graphs and stats are from Hitwise)
email, internet, networks, social, webmail
Update: Marc Andreessen has a great writeup on Open Social. Spin warning: Ning is a launch partner of Open Social so take it with a little pinch of salt.
Update2: Bebo and MySpace are also joining. That leaves just Microsoft and Facebook out in the cold.
No wonder Google didn’t invest in Facebook, they were busy setting up OpenSocial (site goes live tomorrow) with a who’s who of companies that are not Microsoft, Facebook or MySpace.
It’s an admirable and ambitious project and it kicks Facebook right in the FBML-tender-spot but as ever the devil will be in the detail. There seems to be some concerns about how truly portable applications would be but I’m far more interested in portability of user data. I’m looking forward to reviewing the API details when they are published, hopefully they will also incorporate some of the emerging de-facto standards like OpenID and OAuth.
Facebook’s next major move will be interesting. Some of their key application developers (Rock You, Slide) will of course divert resources to work on OpenSocial based applications.
facebook, google, networks, ning, social