Thursday, May 22, 2008

Nielsen: MySpace, Club Penguin growth static, LinkedIn soaring

The April 2008 iteration of those numbers that Nielsen releases each
month about social-networking site activity indicate that growth on
News Corp.'s MySpace continues to slow, and that kiddie virtual world Club Penguin--acquired by Disney last year for $350 million--is just about static.

The Nielsen numbers, which track monthly unique visitors to
social-networking sites, found that MySpace's growth from April 2007 to
April 2008 was just 3 percent, and that Club Penguin's traffic shrank 7
percent. If Nielsen's numbers are accurate (which is always debatable with online metrics), that's not good for News Corp and Disney. In August, for example, the same methodology from Nielsen
found that Club Penguin had grown 250 percent year-over-year and that
MySpace was still growing at a healthy rate of 23 percent.

The numbers also reveal that business social network LinkedIn, which may or may not be aiming for a billion-dollar valuation,
is still growing rapidly, pulling in 361 percent more unique users than
it did a year ago. Facebook is growing more slowly, with 56 percent
more visitors--and keep in mind that April 2007 was just a month before
the company announced its developer platform and "exploded," at least
in terms of Valley chit-chat.

Music-focused social-media sites Imeem and Buzznet
are also notable, pulling in 92 percent and 104 percent growth
respectively. Over the past year, both well-funded sites have been
pursuing ambitious development strategies: Imeem has been inking licensing deals with both music and video content providers, and Buzznet has been acquiring blogs like Stereogum and the formerly Gawker Media-owned Idolator.

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