Will anyone dethrone Facebook as THE Social Network?
Almost 10 years ago, Mark Zuckerburg and Eduardo Saverin started what would become one of the most visited websites in the world from their dorm at Harvard University.
Now with over one billion users, Facebook is widely considered to be the social network that changed it all, and put social media on the map. However, since 2004, a lot has changed, and a variety of different networks catering to different audiences have started up, many of which have become increasingly more popular.
In 2013, the three social networks that are considered to be Facebook’s main competitors are Twitter, Google+ and YouTube. But do any of them have the ability to unseat Facebook?
Firstly, it should be noted that even though Facebook is considered the most widely used social network, these competitors are not exactly vying for exclusive audiences. Most people who actively use one social network typically also use another one, and in some cases, even maintain active profiles on multiple networks at the same time, so the number of users or profiles doesn’t exactly dictate which network is the most popular.
GlobalWebIndex research has shown in the first half of 2013, close to 70% of active Internet users have Facebook profiles, compared to around 53% who have Google+ accounts, and 50% who have YouTube accounts. Around 62% of Facebook users are active Monthly, compared to under 50% for their two closest competitors.
What is interesting, however, is that Twitter and Google+ both currently beat out Facebook in terms of increasing active user-ship. From mid-2012 to mid-2013, Twitter increased its active user-ship by almost 50%, and Google+ by around 35%, whereas Facebook active growth was only around 15%.
However, since Facebook has more overall users, even the lower percentage translates into similar real world numbers. Meanwhile, photo-oriented networks Pinterest and Tumblr are the fastest growing networks, each increasing active user-ship by 88% and 74% respectively over the last year, but since neither are complete networks (relying solely on photos), the likelihood of them replacing Facebook is slim.
Google+ and Twitter, however, have constantly been at Facebook’s heels over the last three years, and many people have predicted that Google+ is turning into the social network that they feel Facebook could be, so it will be interesting to see how the dynamics change over the next two years.
If one of them do manage to bump Facebook off its throne however, they shouldn’t expect Zuckerburg and Co. to step down without a fight.
Written by Wesley Geyer
Creative writer at ATKA SA