It’s Sunday here in Singapore and I just came across this report by Hitwise called “Social Networking and forums Industry statistics Apr 2008”
It seems that social networking times and again gather great interest from Marketers so i suppose there are some values added by sharing this report.
(Please note that the data in this report is restrictive to Singapore only. )
First of all, I think it’s important to understand how Hitwise defines this category:
This category contains websites which facilitate online communication and networking via profile pages.
Because of this definition, YouTube is in this category, which to be honest i don’t normally associate it with Social Networking.
Traffic Distribution Analysis:
The top 10 sites in this category have 46.90% of all the visits.
Out of the top 10, there are two names that i am not aware of : Tudou.com and Viwawa. By the look of it, Tudou is a Chinese based site whereas Viwawa is an online game.
- Windows Live Messenger and GTalk is here. To me, they are essentially Instant Messenger program and are not really Social Networking and Forum.
- I often think that Yahoo Answer is quite big since so much efforts have been put into marketing it. However, based on the number here, it only ranks no 18.
- From the top 10, you can see how hot Consumer Electronics is in Singapore. Hardwarezone ranks no 4 and VR Zone ranks no 11.
- I don’t really see any generic local forums in the top 20.
- There are no clear winner in Singapore Social Networking Landscape with Friendster only leads Facebook by 2 points.
Top 30 sites by Visit Time
Take a look at the table below and you will find that it’s really bizarre.
None of the top 20 sites in terms of visits is in the top 20 sites in terms of Visit Time.
There are a few implications from this:
- When someone claims that their site is in the top 20 “Social Networking sites” in Singapore, you need to clarify with them whether it’s by Visits, Unique visitors or Visit Time.
- Further investigation needs to be done to understand how Hitwise defines visit time. Do they define it by sessions (normally if you are idle on a site for more than 30 minutes, they count it as one visit) or something else?
- Depending on the nature of the site, Visit time can be of no value at all.
- I don’t know about FlexBeta.net. However looking at the stats for Jan, Feb where it was no where to be found and March where it ranked no 149, i would say that for Apr, the fact that FlexBeta.net rank no2 is suspicious. It grows too fast for a relatively simple site.
- I took the liberty to dig a little bit deeper regarding FlexBeta.net.
From who.is, the domain was registered in 2002 and going to expire this year 2008.
From Alexa (well, Alexa is far from being correct however it’s good to see the trend), FlexBeta ranks no 73, 352 so we can more or less believe Alexa traffic trend since the site rank is below 100,000.
As you can see the traffic for FlexaBeta.net is decreasing since Jan 2008. Most of the traffic is coming from US also (according to Alexa).
So again, my point is Don’t take what Hitwise tells you at the face value. Web Analytics is fragile and you need to know the context and a lot more in order to make an informed decision.
(If you think that i single out FlexaBeta alone, i have no intention to do so. Today is the first time i know about this site)
Industry Search Terms
The top 20 search terms are below:
For me, the correlation between top search terms and top sites in terms of visit show us that people are lazy. Instead of typing the full url of the site into browser, they go to Google/Yahoo and type in the name of the site as they remember, then click on the natural search results provided by the search Engine.
This again shows us how important it is to rank highly in the Search Result page whether by Search Engine Optimization or Paid Search.
That should be all for now.
It’s 7.30 pm on a Sunday night in Singapore.
Have a lovely evening everyone!