- Facebook with 900 million monthly users
- Twitter with 310 million monthly users
- Linked In with 255 million monthly users
- Pintrest with 250 million monthly users
- Google Plus with 120 million monthly users
- Tumblr with 110 million monthly users
- Instagram with 100 million monthly users
- VKwith 80 million monthly users
- Flickr with 65 million monthly users
- Myspace with 42 million monthly users
- Meetup with 40 million monthly users
- Tagged with 38 million monthly users
- Ask.fm with 37 million monthly users
- MeetMe with 15.5 million monthly users
- Classmates with 15 million monthly users
According to this article published on mashable from October 28, 2013, almost 2/3rds of a year ago, Facebook had about 100 million less individual visitors.
And visiting Alexa's website we can see that
Looking for relationships in the data.
Pintrest graphs for Instagram and Pintrest are showing increased levels of visitors, and they both have very similar content creation mechanisms. They are mainly driven by pictures which are very quick and easy ways to create content to share.
However Flickr is showing decreased # of visitors and is also driven by photo based content.
So once again we see that in this subset that the top sites are gaining visitors while the bottom sites are losing visitors.
Since the power of a social network is in the installed user base it makes sense that as a social network loses popularity that it would result in a snowball effect as users seeking a better and more dynamic content experience would flock to a more popular social networking site.
A major difference between this general data when applying it to our situation.
Although a particular social networking platform may be right for the general public it is possible that a niche audience such as those seeking help with Crohn's disease might tend towards a social network that does not conform to that of the general population due to demographic differences, a large installed user database and quality of information on one social network vs. another etc. Any attempts to use social networking would probably ideally use a multi tiered approach utilizing several different social networking platforms at the same time.
Any time that a multi platform campaign is launched it is important to create a consistent experience and message for visitors. So it is important to make clear what the goals and mission of the campaign is for right away. The message should be intuitive, and simple enough to be clearly expressed so as to engage the visitor before they click away to another website.
In building a user base to consume web content it has been clearly established that content is king. In fact this idea was espoused in a famous document by Bill Gates in 1996 which can be read in full here. I have chosen exerpts and made them red along that I think are most relevant and placed them below along with my own comments in blue.
Content Is King – Bill Gates (1/3/1996)
Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.
If people are to be expected to put up with turning on a computer to read a screen, they must be rewarded with deep and extremely up-to-date information that they can explore at will. They need to have audio, and possibly video. They need an opportunity for personal involvement that goes far beyond that offered through the letters-to-the-editor pages of print magazines.
High quality content is key here. Half assing it won't work. Our competition is global in nature, and this is a race. We must provide our users with the content they want as fast as possible in a format that is quick and easy for them to understand.
For example, the Internet is already revolutionizing the exchange of specialized scientific information. Printed scientific journals tend to have small circulations, making them high-priced. University libraries are a big part of the market. It’s been an awkward, slow, expensive way to distribute information to a specialized audience, but there hasn’t been an alternative.
Actually the internet was in it's infancy used by academia to speed up the process of research and accessing documents. But now with the masses driving web traffic we should decide if we want to cater to everyone or to a specific niche, and do it better than anyone else. The consolidation of the market shows that there will be clear winners and losers.
Now some researchers are beginning to use the Internet to publish scientific findings. The practice challenges the future of some venerable printed journals.
Some reluctance on the part of advertisers may be justified, because many Internet users are less-than-thrilled about seeing advertising. One reason is that many advertisers use big images that take a long time to download across a telephone dial-up connection. A magazine ad takes up space too, but a reader can flip a printed page rapidly.
Advertising particularly when providing medical information is controversial. Undoubtedly questions will come up as to whether our coverage or recommendations have been influenced by relationships with advertisers. However meeting organizational costs is also critical. Who will pay for all of this? Will it be insurers? The government? Or will we enter a free market economy? Under Obamacare it seems as if the answer is government, but there is also quite a controversy in giving the government access to all of it's citizens health data. The citizens will decide what is to be done here, but there is much good that can come of this project, so perhaps we should decide how we can best serve patients interests and create advocacy and educational groups to ensure the success of this project's bigger goals which are more efficient processing of patient paperwork, and better tracking and more accurate patient data for health professionals.
Those who succeed will propel the Internet forward as a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products-a marketplace of content.
The internet has the power to revolutionize the human condition at a level that perhaps rivals the wheel. It's an incredibly exciting time, and the opportunity to shape the usage of this incredibly powerful tool is really a blessing.
I had an idea to do coverage on perhaps the top 10 health related social media companies, or the top 10 health related apps and their accompanying businesses as well. An interesting side note supporting the idea of consolidation is that some of these companies are actually being swept into each other, for example I believe that Pintrest now has some affiliation with Google, and also Alexa now has some affiliation with Amazon. The period of consolidation is far from over and restructuring and reorganization of apps and their creators seems like it will be the norm for the forseeable future.