Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The social network at the edge of sunset?

Rating agency Nielsen Online perplexed by the sudden news: in January 2008 saw an unprecedented decline in user interest in social network Facebook. Visitors, in particular, British users at that time declined by 5% compared with December 2007. Simply put, the administration in January Facebook nedoschitalas 400,000 visits to your site. Randomness or new trend?

A year ago, this social network showed a rapid increase in popularity, and any seasonal fluctuations in online activity are nipochem it. Facebook was not the largest social network in the world, but the fastest growing and promising. And because - is extremely interest among venture investors. What's there to say, if the proposed amount for Facebook total for the year grew from one to fifteen billion dollars! And that price does not factories-newspapers-steamers, but only one Internet project! The current fall in the interest of users, of course, not bury Facebook, but certainly significantly pritormozit development. Only recently have been made enormous investments in servers and a new management system, fought and are working on the design and means of ensuring security. In terms of business all this justified steady and substantial increase in the number of users. But now it may be so, that will only benefit the company Rackable Systems, which provides technical support to Facebook. Of course, there is no certainty that the decline in popularity Facebook will be ongoing. So far, advertisers sincerely believe in the potential of Facebook, and continue to take a revolutionary social network in mediaindustrii. And, of course, is great temptation to use the latest marketing technology - targeted ads based on users' personal information network.

Since the conversation went on trends, it is necessary to note that declining interest users to social networks affected competitors and Facebook. Thus, attendance at the British network Bebo with October 2007 decreased by 8%. Terian users and MySpace. Over the past three months the popularity that the world's largest social network has fallen by 14%. In this regard, there was a comment leaders Google, who believe that the corporation News Corp (owner of MySpace) should continue to seek ways of turning the traffic network in the living money. Meanwhile, despite the marked negative trend, IT-giants and mediakorporatsii one after another launch their own social networks. Now those involved and Yahoo!, And Microsoft, and virtually all the major TV companies. But fashion is taking place, and this fact.

In RuNet - very similar situation. Maxim Spiridonov - author of the draft - believes that the relatively popular services soon "Одноклассники.ру" and "Вконтакте.ру" awaiting death. Recently, he has posted in his blog article entitled "Vkontakte and Odnoklassnikov waiting slow and painful death?". Article instantly aroused stormy debate in the Russian-speaking segment of the network. It leads the author timetable website, which was copied to the project "Одноклассники.ру". The last two and a half years, attendance invariably falls, that is the current level of the site attendance is significantly lower than in 2002-2003, when this resource was the peak of popularity. As writes Spiridonov, schedule attendance suggests that a similar fate awaits and sverhpopulyarnye nowadays projects "Одноклассники.ру" and "Vkontakte", because all former classmates sooner or later find each other (who wanted of course) and other reserves for rapid growth from this kind of sites simply do not. However, not the first Spiridonov, who made a similar forecast. Many note that by registering for "Odnoklassnikah", finding their old acquaintances with them and exchanged email addresses and numbers ICQ, the service user is aware that his website has nothing more to do. This effect of socialization, well familiar to users of home computer networks: to acquaint with all exchanged numbers ringtones, Wacky each other in guests - and all: communication network for residents of one yard was little used. Unless teenagers for network games. So, with social networks is happening about the same. And this effect their creators never foresaw. Most likely, social networks in their current form will suffer the fate of peer-to-peer networks. Namely: boom will remain constant in size and stable segment of the Internet industry. For its role and place in the global Web, but without unnecessary hype around. And without the insane money offered by investors for such projects.

However, there is a perception that today's social networks are destined to "mutate", transformed into mobile social networks - that is based on mobile devices end-users. And some studies suggest that this process is already well under way. According to the research company Informa, by 2012 revenue from mobile social networks could reach $ 52 billion in At the end of last year, the number of users of mobile social networks have already exceeded the mark of 50 million people. And it means that members of such networks has become the world's population 2.3%! Informa analysts argue that even with small investments cellular operators annually the number of users of mobile social networks will grow by 30-50% (depending on the region). According to the most pessimistic estimates, by 2012 users of mobile social networks will be 12.5% of the residents of Earth. And while optimistic scenario, that number will be even bigger and the order of 23%. Let this figure does not surprise anyone: you have to take into account the degree of penetration of mobile communications in modern society. Already the world's cell phones in one and a half times more than the PC. With regard to the financial component, in 2006, the mobile social networks have brought about $ 1.5 billion revenue. By the end of 2007 doubled their income, but by 2012 it will amount to $ 28.9 billion to $ 52 billion for the optimistic and pessimistic scenarios respectively.

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