the rise and fall of social networks

In february 2008, i posted this article about how i felt bebo was in decline despite growing rapidly and posting record stats at the time.

Quoting myself, “No doubt revenue is up and traffic is flying, but it’s short term gain for long term sacrafice. They are driving people like me away from bebo.” Looking back, i called it right. At the time i didn’t even mention myspace because in my eyes it had no future.

Look at the search trends below (using google insights) for bebo from from 2004 – present. Look at when they peaked… August 2008 (6 months after i published that ‘bebo has gone to hell’ post).

bebo insights

The stats for myspace are pretty similar, but we all knew that anyway… i wouldn’t be surprised is myspace is dead in a few years time all together.

myspace insights

On the flip side, look at the same trends for facebook…

facebook insights

If you look at compete.com stats for the past year alone, they paint the same picture. Goodbye bebo & myspace, hello facebook…

yearly compete

Just to add even more evidence, lets take a look at alexa.com’s stats for the same 3 sites…

alexa traffic bebo

alexatrafficmyspace

alexa traffic facebook

It could have been so different… bebo had massive potential and gathered huge momentum here in ireland and the UK, but got greedy and put profit over user experience. The’ve paid for it now and it’s too late to do anything about it. Once stats are on a downward trend, it means you’re losing users and that’s not good…

One strike and you’re out in social networking. You don’t get second chances. Once users move on, they don’t come back. The stats are starting to prove it.

Both bebo, myspace and pretty much every other social network have lost users to facebook and there’s no getting them back. Getting one person to change is easy, getting two people much more difficult. Getting a group and community to change is bordering on impossible, unless of course you have the breakthrough technology to lure them in naturally.

Right now, there is no threat to facebook, but when one does come along, it will be interesting to see how they react… much like google they’re becoming so large they can just buy out any threats they might come across 🙂

1 thought on “the rise and fall of social networks”

  1. you can clearly see that most users of bebo are woman
    on this graphs

    but isn't woman something that you can trick to register something spammy?

    I would just say to first graphs that facebook ate that pie of others so far

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