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Which social media site is right for you?

By John Disque

When choosing a social media site, you may at first be tempted to go with the one who has the biggest user base. Maybe you feel you should go with the one you've heard the most about or the one that most of your friends use. To the average person it may appear that it really doesn't matter and that all three (Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook) of the social sites are competing with each other for your attention and the privilege of your business. That's not quite accurate.

I highly recommend slowing down just for a second and analyze exactly what you intend to use the site for. Each has a different targeted market. Someone who intends to promote their business may not be interested in keeping up with the daily life of their 3rd cousin in Belgium. Someone interested in their local music scene might not be interested in the daily lives of their country's politicians. The list of "whys" and "why nots" is long. but I'm going to attempt to clear up the confusion and make your choice easy.

You may decide to use all three social media sites in an attempt to cover everything; however, I can assure you it's not going to be easy and it's going to take a lot of your time.

Facebook is mostly geared to the youth market and is more of a social network site than MySpace and Twitter. It is perfect if you intend to use it to stay in touch with your family and friends. Small-talk rules on FB and, over the years, the older generation has caught on and joined their younger family members in an attempt to get a peak at the things they've been missing.

One out of every fourteen people in the world use FB. That adds up to about 500 million users. Half of the users log on every day and the average user has 130 friends. Most of those 130 friends are actually real family and real friends.

Myspace targets two groups of people "The adult market"("80% of their users are over age 18") and "The artist market" (With a place on your page that resembles Youtube, it is the perfect social site for a musician to promote, share and sell their music. Eight million of their active users are bands and music acts.)

MySpace currently generates 40 billion page views per month. Although they lost much of their original market to Twitter and Facebook, they seem very content with their loyal user base.

Twitter seems to be based on the declining human attention span; however, that statement in itself is a little deceptive. With 106 million users generating 180 million unique visits there must be a bit more to it. Of those 106 million users there's an average of 55 million posts (tweets) per day or 640 tweets per second, and the search engines (Google, Yahoo, Alta Vista, etc) get over 600 million inquiring about Twitter every day.

Twitter has a "get your point across" 140 character limit that seems perfect for posting links, business promotion and simple, no-nonsense (get your point across) tweets.

The site works using "the-snowball-effect." You post (tweet) something for your followers, someone reads it and agrees and reposts (retweets) it to their followers who read it and retweet it to theirs. The message continues throughout the Internet, often breaking barriers of countries and languages until the original user is somewhat of a self-created star. This fact won't get you too far if your tweet was simply an interesting discussion, but if your tweet was some sort of business link, you may have just found yourself making millions of dollars.


So which is right for you?

If you were an artist trying to gain recognition, I would recommend MySpace.

If you were concerned with developing new friends, finding old friends, and staying in touch with family members, I would recommend Facebook.

For business promotion, especially when you're low on time, I would recommend Twitter.

Though each crosses into the other's intended target and can be used for any of the stated reasons the difference is "ease of use for your particular needs."


More Interesting Facts

Facebook is banned and blocked in Pakistan, Syria, the People's Republic of China, Vietnam, Iran, Uzbekistan and North Korea.

The company employs 1400 people operating in 8 countries.
 Facebook has been valued at about 22 billion dollars.

Of FB's 500 million users 200 million are currently accessing the site through mobile devices. For obvious reasons people who use mobile devices are twice as involved as the non-mobile user.

MySpace is based in Los Angeles and was founded in 2003. With the non-existence of Twitter and Facebook their big competition was Friendster (A company that launched in 2002, still exists and has somehow managed to thrive throughout the years).

Two years after it was founded MySpace was sold for 580 million. Their new owners had big plans and incorporated Google to be their #1 advertiser. Google liked the idea and happily paid MySpace 900 million dollars for the opportunity.

Twitter's peak hrs are 10-11pm. Peak days of the week are Thursday and Friday.

The company employees only 175 people.

Top 5 Twitter users are; Lady Gaga, Barack Obama, Ellen DeGeneres, Brittany Spears & Ashton Kutcher. Aston is #1 with nearly 5 million followers.

I am convinced that each of these sites will one day be "a thing of the past" as I'm sure there's some young mastermind out there developing a way to put the best of everything into one single site. I am also convinced that this person will take over Carlos Slim Helu's status as the wealthiest human in existence.

Published November 15, 2010

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