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MySpace Rules the Web

  |  July 11, 2006   |  Comments

Social networking site MySpace wins the most market share, not just among other sites of its category in the U.S., but the entire Web.

NewsCorp-owned MySpace garners the highest U.S. market share of visits on the Web, even beating out Yahoo Mail and portals. That's according to data released by Hitwise.

For the week ending July 8, MySpace had 4.46 percent market share of visits, making it the top site on the Internet. The social networking site surpassed widely-used Web-based email and portal sites including Yahoo Mail (4.42 percent); Yahoo (4.25 percent); Google (3.89 percent) and MySpace's own email site (2.85 percent). eBay ranks eighth on the list with 1.59 percent market share.

MySpace's growth rate was gradual, but it enjoyed a 4,300 percent increase over a two year period. "This site has increased more than we've seen in my memory of any of the sites we track," said Bill Tancer, general manager of Global Research at Hitwise. "There doesn't seem to be any end in sight.

While Tancer said MySpace could maintain the top position; he leaves open the possibility for an incumbent. "We have to realize with the Internet there's always a chance someone can come up with a brand new way of doing things and take over the dominance of MySpace."

Weekly Market Share of Visits Ranking Among All Web Sites (U.S.) For Week Ending July 8, 2006
Rank Name Domain Market Share (%)
1 MySpace www.myspace.com 4.46
2 Yahoo Mail mail.yahoo.com 4.42
3 Yahoo www.yahoo.com 4.25
4 Google www.google.com 3.89
5 MySpace - Mail mail.myspace.com 2.85
6 MSN Hotmail www.hotmail.com 2.39
7 MSN www.msn.com 1.92
8 eBay www.ebay.com 1.59
9 Yahoo Search search.yahoo.com 1.36
10 MSN Search search.msn.com 0.93
Source: Hitwise, 2006

MySpace is the only NewsCorp property to reach the top 10-ranked sites, but other properties in the company's portfolio benefit from the social networking site's success. "This has been a brilliant move for NewsCorp," said Tancer. "What we've seen in relationships to other News Corp. sites is an increase in market share. I think we're going to see a lot of synergies created from all the NewsCorp properties."

Among other social networking sites, MySpace remains out of reach in terms of visits. The site maintained a market share in that category of over 75 percent from April to June of this year, topping out in June with 79.97 percent market share. Competing sites like Facebook, Xanga and Yahoo's 360 site each held under 10 percent market share. Bebo's market share was 0.98 percent in June, but it increased its share of visits by 21 percent from the previous month when it held a 0.77 percent market share stake.

Percentage of Monthly Market Share of Visits Among Top Social Networking Web Sites (U.S.), April Through June 2006
Domain June 2006 May 2006 April 2006
www.myspace.com 79.97 77.20 76.07
www.thefacebook.com 7.58 8.73 8.24
www.xanga.com 3.81 4.40 5.29
360.yahoo.com 1.13 1.29 1.38
www.bebo.com 0.98 0.77 0.73
www.tagged.com 0.92 0.97 1.17
www.classmates.com 0.83 1.01 1.30
www.hi5.com 0.78 1.06 1.19
spaces.msn.com 0.75 1.29 1.41
www.sconex.com 0.64 0.70 0.81
www.gaiaonline.com 0.57 0.50 0.50
www.bolt.com 0.52 0.43 0.21
www.friendster.com 0.46 0.53 0.58
www.orkut.com 0.30 0.33 0.30
www.myyearbook.com 0.26 0.25 0.24
www.crushspot.com 0.18 0.18 0.18
www.migente.com 0.16 0.18 0.19
www.tagworld.com 0.13 0.14 0.14
www.faceparty.com 0.02 0.02 0.03
www.xuqa.com 0.02 0.02 0.04
Source: Hitwise, 2006

"We are still discovering the Internet laws of gravity as it relates to a site's potential to grow on the Internet," said Tancer. "The fact that MySpace was virtually unknown by the mainstream Internet users two years ago and now claims the top position demonstrates how hyper-competitive the Internet really is."

Hitwise monitors top-level clickstream data for over 25 million Internet users who interact with over 500,000 Web sites across 160 industry categories. Data are collected via a combination of ISP data partnerships and opt-in panels within local and International privacy legislation.

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Enid Burns

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