Thursday, 19 July 2012

The (brief) tale of Myspace's dog

"1 in 4 Americans is on MySpace, in the UK it’s as common to have a MySpace as it is to own a dog" was the wonderfully obscure quote that accompanied the social network's 2008 annual report. Myspace's subsequent decline is well known, but curiously when I was asked for a summary of social network membership I struggled to find a single source.

To that end, here's my assessment of the current and historic state of three social networks: Facebook, Twitter and Myspace.
This clearly shows how Twitter has accelerated customer acquisition in the last year. Arguably I've been conservative with my 2013 forecast too - growth could well inflect again considering the amount of positive press the service gets and its extreme compatibility with mobile usage.

Part of that popularity is driven by celebrity stalking. The next chart shows the most popular Twitter celebs. Note that Stephen Fry - often cited as the archetypal celebrity tweeter - is in fact a shrinking violet of the scene. Lady Gaga has the followship of 6.3 Fries. A weighty achievement.
Doing the same analysis for Facebook demonstrates the difference in demographics between the two platforms. The number one celebrity fan page on Facebook: Eminem. Rihanna is #2, demonstrating just how much we love the way they lie.

Sorry. I couldn't resist!


  1. Your MySpace forecast for 2013 seems to show a bit of growth - any reason for this?

    What I find interesting is that the biggest US stars have just over five times the followers of the biggest UK stars. The US population is just over five times that of the UK. On first look, you would think that this is to be expected - but the US stars pride themselves on being worldwide names, which you'd therefore expect to have proportionally higher follower counts.

    1. My view on myspace is that the size of their music catalogue and the (smart) move of linking themselves to Facebook and Twitter will drive a gradual improvement in their subscriber numbers. Question is whether they will get better engagement because of it - the original trouble they had in my view was that they had far too many dud accounts. I recall when they hit 100Mn accounts that there was analysis to suggest that only about 40% logged in at least weekly.

      Good point on the US/ UK population, although the US online population is proportionally smaller than the UK's. OECD suggests that the ratio of online populations is 3.5:1 in the US' favour. I probably need to correct for that...