Posted November 15, 2007 5:40 pm by with 27 comments

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Quick, what’s the fastest-growing social network over the last year?

MySpace? Nope. Facebook? Nope. Bebo? Now, let’s be serious. According to Nielsen Online (and Fortune), it’s . . . LinkedIn.

Yep, the all-business-no-fun-actually-used-for-networking-instead-of-popularity-contests social network is the fastest growing social network out there. Of course, that’s in large part due to the fact that it’s also quite small.

Compare these stats:

Network Growth rate
LinkedIn 189%
Club Penguin 157%
Facebook 125%
Windows Live Spaces 32%
MySpace 19%

Source: Nielsen Online

versus these:

Network Uniques Oct 2007
Increased uniques
Oct 2007 vs Oct 2006
Facebook 19.5 10.8
MySpace 58.8 9.3
LinkedIn 4.9 3.2
Windows Live Spaces 10.3 2.5
Club Penguin 3.9 2.4

Source: Nielsen Online

So while LinkedIn has the best growth rate, it’s still pretty small when compared to Facebook and MySpace. Growing at a faster rate means adding more users relative to your current user base, and the bigger you are, the harder that is.

Perhaps even more impressive is the monthly data for the two giants: Fortune reports that Facebook’s “unique audience” growth trumps MySpace’s: Facebook added 1.5M new visitors in October, while MySpace added only 300,000. The YOY data shows that not only did Facebook grow at a faster rate than MySpace did, but it added more actual users (rather than just more users relative to its current user base): 125% growth rate (vs 19%) and 10.8M more “unique audience” members (vs 9.3M).

Despite the fact that we’re all getting tired of hearing about Facebook and its phenomenal growth, it looks like the social network is still growing quickly with lots more room to grow—unlike its larger competitor.

  • Social networks inside via video games. Club Penguin. Hmm, there might be more potential here.

    World of Warcraft is HUGELY popular, however, there is no transcendence into the online UI world that we are all familiar with, aside from forums and a few other features. Therefore there isn’t much room to monetize it. (aside from their subscription base)

    Great find Jordan.

  • Myspace shouldn’t count because they are all spam accounts.

  • Jen

    What is so interesting to me about the stats in this article is that I have the following number of connections: LinkedIn – 70; Facebook – 18; MySpace – 1. (OK, that’s not fair — I hate MySpace so I haven’t even searched for friends there.) But LinkedIn vs Facebook is clear: it looks like hardly anybody I know is on Facebook. I think LinkedIn does a much better job of finding connections for you, going beyond my gmail address book and suggesting names of other users who have worked at companies in my profile, etc. LinkedIn wins.

  • I am amazed at those figures. I did not even consider Linkedin as a social networking site. It is certainly not the sort of place that an average person looking to find old friends or classmates would visit. I would still tend to view it more as a business networking site than a social networking site.

  • Linkedin as a social networking site. No way!

  • Waouh I didn’t know that Facebook was so big…

  • For business networking though I think LinkedIn will beat them all eventually because its higher focus on the business community…

  • well, a lot of business networking sites has emerged since last year.. ryze to name one.. but it’s the kids who are the one’s controlling this so called social thingy..

  • Linkedin is still far away in catching up for Facebook, simply because it is not a social networking site…but we have to admit that many people are taking online business everyday…that is where the growth begin…Another factor, should be the usability of the site…Facebook is far superior in usability…

  • I wonder if Gooruze will ever rival any of these?

  • From a marketing point of view Facebook and My Space are well ahead of Linkedin at the moment. Any views of marketing opportunities using Linkedin. Communicating with groups of like minded people I mean – not spamming.

  • Ed

    I have a bad feeling that Facebook will simply turn into a Myspace eventually. It sure has that nasty popularity feeling to me.
    If people start Facebooking me before calling or meeting up with me the same way Myspace was I will hate that website just as much.

    I still do not believe these things should be used as replacements for human contact. I can not say how much it bothers me when I miss something like a dinner or meeting and the excuse is “Well, I facebook’d you or Myspace’d you”. WOW

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  • I wouldn’t be surprised to see Myspace with negative numbers next year. Windows Live Spaces caught me off guard.

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  • Let’s not forget about Orkut. Google is smart to keep its information about Orkut very quiet, because it is probably the fastest growing social site on the Internet. People in the US don’t know this because its more popular in other countries (half of its membership is in Brazil). With 32.8 billion page views in September (Facebook had 34.54 billion), its the biggest social network you never heard of.

  • Jordan McCollum

    @Seattle—These stats are for US only.

  • Yes Orkut is tremendously popular as well, and is usually not reckoned with along with the rest of the social networking sites.

  • orkut is woking fast in the philippines but friendster is still on top of every netwoking sites knowing that it’s already did. worst most of friendster user’s here are not aware that their playing on a dead social site..

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  • LinkedIn growing faster than Facebook? Every single day more people I know show up on Facebook, college friends, those who are working and businessmen. But my LinkedIn stayed dead since I opened account.

  • Linkedin concentrates on far fewer things than Myspace. MySpace can overwhelm a the user. Thats why most of who I know are sure shot on linkedin rather than MySpace.

  • Amazing to learn a new fast growing SN site as LinkedIn, the profit model of SN sites is still a big problem to study.

  • J

    LinkedIn shouldn’t be considered as a social networking site. It’s basically business oriented.

    It also depends on the number of friends you have on any of those. If your contacts are mostly college guys, you’ll probably find Facebook better but if they are mostly corporate, LinkedIn is the one for you.

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  • I think myspace will continue to grow faster then the other social networks.

  • I’m normally pretty hard headed about the latest greatest internet marketing system.

    Having said that I am having success using; facebook, myspace and linkedin.

    I have earned over $8-Million working online in the last 15-years (average of over $500,000 per year) and for the most part I use a few tools and techniques and I’m pretty set in my ways.


    J.R. Jackson (a.k.a. MLM’s $8-Million Man)’s last blog post..Comment LUV