Facebook overtakes MySpace globally
New figures from metrics firm comScore show that, in May, the battle of the social-networking sites may have gained a new front-runner: Facebook appears to have surpassed long-time rival MySpace in worldwide unique visitors for the first time. ComScore representatives said that Facebook’s lead began in April, when the site passed MySpace by a hair, and widened in May.
Facebook, according to comScore, pulled in 123.9 million unique visitors in the month of May, beating MySpace’s 114.6 million, and 50.6 billion page views, compared to MySpace’s 45.4 billion.
It has been a slow but steady upward climb for Facebook, founded by then-Harvard undergraduate Mark Zuckerberg in 2004. The site was initially restricted to members with email addresses from a handful of elite universities, before gradually expanding to the general public and becoming a genuine Silicon Valley sensation when it kick-started the developer platform craze last year.
It was a very different story for MySpace, which was founded in 2003 and achieved mass-market success in a relatively short time by gearing itself toward independent bands and their fans.
MySpace, owned by News Corp since 2005, nevertheless remains far ahead of Facebook in the US, where both companies are based. The same comScore figures found that MySpace has 73.7 million unique visitors in the US versus Facebook’s 35.6 million, and that neither site grew much in the past month. Other number-crunching firms show similar results: a Compete.com graph of the two, for example, shows MySpace’s US traffic shrinking slightly while Facebook’s is growing steadily, but not astronomically.
This appears to confirm the common wisdom that Facebook’s present growth is largely overseas. And that, of course, assumes that the numbers are accurate–online metrics firms, comScore included, have been subject to plenty of scrutiny on behalf of web companies and ad firms. Additionally, some of MySpace’s overseas traffic does not come from the MySpace.com domain; its Chinese-language site, for example, is MySpace.cn. ComScore representatives, however, have said that its assessment of MySpace’s traffic encompassed all the site’s domains.
More on the article here at ZDNet.