Facebook has overtaken MySpace as the top global social network with 132 million unique visitors for a staggering 153 percent growth rate, according to comScore. MySpace is second at 113 million visitors, and Hi5 grew its global audience 100 percent to land at 56 million unique visitors. A new report from the online tracking company shows global usage of social networking sites growing 25 percent since June 2007. The U.S., however, saw the phenomenon cool off somewhat to 9 percent growth year-over-year.
Think of social networking’s worldwide growth as a variation of performance artist Laurie Anderson’s song, “Language is a Virus.” Language/translation efforts by the likes of Facebook, Hi5, Friendster, Orkut and Bebo have helped the contagion of social networking spread worldwide, with comScore reporting growth rates of 66 percent in the Middle East/Africa, 35 percent in Europe, 33 percent in Latin America and 23 percent in Asia.
“I think the scalability of some of these U.S. brands into international markets has been a big factor,” Andrew Lipman, comScore senior analyst told TechNewsWorld. “Specifically, if you look at Facebook and Hi5, what they’re doing in terms of foreign language interface translation and their emphasis on cultural relevance in each of the markets they’re expanding to has helped them grow pretty dramatically across all global regions.”