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A Mid-Year Assessment of Social Networks in 2011
Posted on July 1st 2011
We're halfway through 2011, and a lot has happened in social media. As over 1,000 Social networks fight and innovate to grab their piece of the social networking space, the first six months of the year have included new features, redesigns, acquisitions, and IPOs... But who have been the biggest winners and losers of 2011? Let's see if we can shed some light on this question through an analysis of trends among 3,238 popular blog articles that have covered social platforms this year.
Below is a basic pie chart of the distribution of coverage by Mashable, TechCrunch, and ReadWriteWeb. The percentages given are based upon the number of times each particular social community was tagged in a blog post on one of these outlets in 2011. While we focus our attention on the 25 communities with the most coverage in this time period, the 'Other' section of the pie chart includes 163 additional social communities that have also received coverage but are not directly mentioned in this post.
Synopsis: Facebook continues to set the pace and shows continued growth in an increasingly saturated market. While there still is chatter that Facebook will eventually have to level off, investors have shown faith (now a $70 billion dollar valuation) and their userbase continues to grow.
- Facebook Raises $500 Million in Funding, Now Worth $50 Billion (Mashable)
- 70% of Local Businesses Use Facebook For Marketing (Readwriteweb)
- Facebook Now Has 750 Million Users (Techcrunch)
Synopsis: Twitter's popularity maintained its growth and their function as an important platform for any breaking news event was again confirmed in the first 6 months of 2011. Additionally, as popular Twitter-based applications grow, Twitter has sought to regain control over their developer climate.
- Twitter to Devs: Don’t Make Twitter Clients… Or Else (Mashable)
- New Twitter Stats: 140M Tweets Sent Per Day, 460K Accounts Created Per Day (Techcrunch)
- It’s Official: Twitter Acquires TweetDeck (Mashable)
Synopsis: YouTube continues to lead an increasingly competitive video-sharing space. Despite many new features aimed to expand into other areas of online video-sharing, the network continues to thrive on its "viral" videos.
- YouTube Sees 3 Billion Views per Day (Readwriteweb)
- YouTube To Go Beyond Cat Videos By Training a New Class of Vloggers (Mashable)
- Kids Generally Frustrated & Confused by Nyan Cat [VIDEO] (Mashable)
Synopsis: Foursquare has maintained steady growth. Much of their buzz revolves around the ability for local businesses to geotarget advertising.
Synopsis: A huge IPO, several new features, and continued user growth has kept LinkedIn in the headlines.
- LinkedIn Launches Revamped Developer Platform (Mashable)
- LinkedIn Finishes First Day as Public Company Valued at $8.9 Billion (Mashable)
Synopsis: Zynga is establishing itself as the leader in online games.
Synopsis: After joining Microsoft in a high-profile acquisition, the world is waiting to see what is next for Skype.
Synopsis: Since Quora's launch, the popular question and answer service has not been short on hype. The debated question is how can they differentiate themself from a crowded field of knowledge-sharing networks and live up to the hype.
- Quora's Traffic May Be Catching Up With Its Hype (Readwriteweb)
Synopsis: Tumblr is in the middle of a period of growth accompanied by an increasingly social and multi-media focus.
Synopsis: Instagram has capitalized on a growing mobile photosharing market by fine-tuning the quality and speed of the photosharing process.
Synopsis: Flickr has stayed fairly constant despite questions of Yahoo's commitment to the photosharing giant.
- Yahoo Says It's "Absolutely Committed" to Flickr (Readwriteweb)
Synopsis: Hulu's popularity highlights an ongoing trend towards watching TV online.
Synopsis: After starting the year with a $10.6 Million dollar funding round, GroupMe has added a number of features and attempted to expand their horizons as they become a major player in group texting.
- GroupMe Brings Brands Into The Conversation (Techcrunch)
Synopsis: Kickstarter leads an expanding crowdfunding niche that has seen several new competitors enter the market in the past 6 months.
Synopsis: MySpace is completing its plummet from the top of the social networking industry.
- Amazingly, MySpace’s Decline Is Accelerating (Techcrunch)
Synopsis: Reddit has moved ahead to join Digg, StumbleUpon, and a select few others at the forefront of the social bookmarking race.
- Reddit Grew 230% in 2010 at Digg's Expense (Mashable)
Synopsis: As competitors catch up, Digg is moving forward with a complete site redesign to try to maintain its marketshare.
- Digg Gets an Overhaul to Draw Users Back (Mashable)
Synopsis: Path's controlled approach will make it one of the more interesting case studies for privacy oriented social networking.
Synopsis: SCVNGR is quietly increasing its userbase and maintaining its position in a growing location-based networking niche.
- SCVNGR Surpasses 1 Million Users (Mashable)
Synopsis: Airbnb is reaching worldwide popularity and its recent valuation shows its potential.
Synopsis: Yelp has thusfar been resilient to competition and continued to expand.
Synopsis: Yammer continues to release new features as it seeks to become the leading social platform for organizations
- Yammer Launches New Version of Its iOS App (Readwriteweb)
Synopsis: SoundCloud is riding a classic exponential growth curve and is acquiring 20,000 users/day.
- Soundcloud Hits 5 Million Registered Users (Mashable)
Synopsis: GoWalla has shown steady growth in the first half of 2011.
Synopsis: Loopt's deal-oriented community is the 4th location-based network on this list... quality location-based networks continue to find ways to grow and build hype.
- Loopt Integrates Groupon Now Deals Into App (Mashable)
Synopsis: While StumbleUpon missed the top 25 (with only 15 articles in this time period), they have taken off in the past several months and I would be surprised if they aren’t covered more extensively for the rest of 2011.