Is Facebook overtaking MySpace?

by Mathew on March 31, 2007 · 4 comments

Eric Eldon, writing over at Matt Marshall’s VentureBeat site, had a story yesterday that I must admit surprised me, even though I’ve sort of been assuming that Facebook is growing like a weed — my 17-year-old daughter and all her friends have signed up over the past few months, and so have I and many of my surprisingly youthful-looking friends. Unless we’re an anomaly (which I expect we’re not) then that means a lot of growth.

snipshot_d4hwggk61g3.jpgBut Eric’s numbers show more than just a lot of growth: he says that Facebook’s page views have risen from about one billion a day (yes, that’s one billion every day — try saying it with a Doctor Evil sneer) to about 1.5 billion a day in just the last month. That’s a half a billion page views, growth of 50 per cent, in a single month. Some of that could be due to features the site has introduced recently, including the “virtual gift” store, which would tend to increase page views, but still. The mind boggles. Even Plenty of Fish founder Marcus Frind, whose dating site gets some pretty incredible traffic itself, seems impressed by those numbers, saying Facebook is “growing the size of plentyoffish every 2 days.”

Traffic of 1.5 billion page views a day could put them ahead of MySpace, at least according to this comment from a Fox Interactive executive in January. Eric says that Facebook told him it now has about 20 million registered users, up from 7.5 million users last July. That’s growth of almost 200 per cent in less than a year. And the charts that Eric includes in his post, from eMarketer, also tell a story (I’ve reproduced one here). He also has some cellphone snapshots of graphs that were displayed at a presentation attended by Dave “Dave Mc500hats” McClure, and they show parabolic growth, particularly in the 18-24 age group.

Consider for a moment that MySpace, according to one analyst, is making about $1-million every day on ads. Does anyone still think that Facebook was wrong to turn down that rumoured $2-billion takeover offer from Yahoo? I don’t.

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