Connect Propelled Facebook Past MySpace
In case you missed it, Facebook is pretty popular. As of June 2008, they’d beat MySpace in terms of total unique visitors worldwide (ballooning to twice as many uniques as MySpace in January 2009)—and even in the US, one of the few Facebook-is-#2 holdouts, Facebook has caught up to MySpace. Hitwise takes a look at the stats—and they say that Facebook Connect gave the popular social network the boost it needed to achieve world domination.
Hitwise mentions other factors that have helped FB: the new layout, mobile apps, especially for the iPhone and BlackBerry.
Another is certainly the Facebook Connect program, which allows users to share stories in their news feed and make comments on websites and blogs. The program launched in beta during July of last year, then officially launched to developers in early December. The number of websites participating in Facebook Connect has grown quickly to over 15,000 websites (globally) including CNN.com, NBC.com, ABCNews.com, Hulu, WashingtonPost.com, The Huffington Post, and others.
Most convincing, of course, is the cold, hard data:
While it’s obvious that the members of Facebook Connect have helped FB gain some visibility and perhaps even legitimacy, personally, I’m still a little skeptical that Connect did all that. What else was going on then?
On the other hand, it seems unlikely that such a sudden, steep climb came from a snowball effect alone.
What do you think? Is it just a coincidence, or was Connect really the tipping point (for the US, anyway—Facebook had already beat MySpace worldwide at that point)? Do you use Facebook Connect?