The folks at LiveSide have a blog post entitled Windows Live Spaces at a crossroads: will the US catch up to the world? which contains some interesting charts from ComScore. Specifically they call out the difference in the worldwide reach of various social networking services versus the North American reach. The relevant excerpt from the post is
As expected, MySpace is in a runaway lead, Facebook is coming on strong, Blogger is hanging in there, and Spaces pretty much brings up the rear. If you read the blogs and follow Techmeme, TechCrunch, and Scoble, these numbers aren't anything surprising.
But take a look at the Worldwide numbers, and a somewhat different story emerges.
Social Networking Sites - Worldwide: Unique visitors per month (000)
While Facebook is growing steadily worldwide, here the numbers tell a far different story. Windows Live Spaces is battling it out with Blogger and MySpace for the top spot. Just for reference, we can see that the Worldwide usage of Social Networking sites is growing steadily:
You might quibble with the title of this blog post but it is hard to argue that Blogger is a social networking site by any definition of the term. When it comes to reach, no social networking site impacts as many users as Windows Live Spaces.
Of course, unique users aren’t the only metric Web sites are judged against and I’m sure there are many out there who will be quick to point out other charts that show our user engagement is lower than average which is a fair point. Personally, I suspect that the inclusion of the improved What’s New page will increase user engagement in a measurable way. It might just be me but I find myself visiting my What’s New page several times a day, in fact more often than I visit my Facebook news feed.
According to Facebook, the addition of the News Feed increased their page views by 70% in the first few months. I wonder if we’ll see a similar jump in the ComScore charts for Windows Live Spaces in a few months or whether FB’s results were an abberration. Only time will tell.
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