So many social networks, so little time

By MARISA HIVNER

Google may be the most visited website in the world, but Facebook is No. 2.

It’s probably more popular than Google, anyways, as it would seem that today’s youth are consumed by the idea of constantly refreshing a single web page for hours at a time, simply to see the newest status updates of their friends. Thank you Mark Zuckerberg, you have successfully managed to find another way to lower productivity.

Even so, the social networking trend has been around far longer than the eight years of Facebook. With that in mind, let’s just take a moment to think about how many social networking sites are out there. We’ve got Myspace, Twitter, Friendster, Bebo, LinkedIn, Flickr, Tumblr, and tons more. Wikipedia’s list of social networking sites contains 200 sites (though I’m positive there are many more). So which are the most popular ones?

According to eBizMBA.com, the top 10 most popular social networking sites are as follows:

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Myspace
  4. LinkedIn
  5. Ning
  6. Tagged
  7. Classmates.com
  8. Hi5
  9. MyYearbook
  10. MeetUp

These rankings are based on the average of each site’s Alexa Global Traffic Rank (Alexa.com compiles web trafficking information). However, interestingly enough, when the usability of these sites was reviewed, the top sites seemed to be lacking where lower ranked sites were not. For example, Facebook cannot be personalized with layouts, unlike Myspace, that has dozens of sites devoted to generating personalized backgrounds of people’s favorite bands or family pets.

But still, the majority of social networking sites are designed to appeal to certain audiences, or are for a certain kind of use. For instance, the primary function of Last.fm is to expand musical tastes, where the primary focus of Photobucket is to share photos.

So I guess the next step really is to just pick your poison, and start joining the site(s) best suited to fit your needs. There is definitely (at least) one out there!

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