Research company Comscore has listed the major social networking websites and the membership growth they've experienced in the last year.
As you'd expect, Myspace is still the king of social networking with 114 million unique visitors in June. That equated to growth of 72 per cent in the space of a year. But the Comscore figures also show how quickly Myspace rival Facebook, is catching up. It had 52 million unique visitors in June, up 270 per cent in the last year.
Facebook is growing nearly four times as fast as Myspace. Why? The website certainly seems to have caught the imagination of a large audience, particularly since May.
That could have something to do with some press reports that appeared recently suggesting Yahoo and Microsoft were interested in buying Facebook, but that their multi-billion dollar offers had been rejected. Ultimately, I just think it is a better service than Myspace, hence the numerous Facebook invitations we've all been receiving lately.
Bebo, which is popular here, had 18 million unique visitors, up 172 per cent. You may not be so familiar with the other websites Comscore surveyed - Hi5 with 28 million unique visitors in June is particularly strong in Central America, Orkut is owned by Google and was designed by one of its software engineers - Orkut Bykkkten.
Friendster, which kicked off the whole social networking revolution is well out of favour with just 65 per cent growth in unique visitors in the last year.
Tagged claims on its website to have 30 million registered users and 10 million unique visitors a month. In the Comscore study it had 13 million unique visitors in June, equating to annual growth of 774 per cent.
Tagged appears to be pretty closely modelled on Myspace, which may explain its growing popularity. I haven't signed up yet, but I notice there's a chat option for members. Does that mean members can instant message each other from within Tagger? How long will in be before social networking chat services overtake IM platforms like Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger. Sooner rather than later if these unique visitor numbers are accurate.