I was reading an article by Dana Oshiro titled, “How Facebook Beat MySpace: From College Dorm to Platform“.
In it Oshiro included a grid from Hitwise tracking share of visits in social networking sites between Facebook and MySpace. From October 2008 to September 2009, Facebook surged from 20% to nearly 60%, while MySpace fell from 60% to 30%.
The article also notes that Facebook is now second only to Google in the US.
October’s surge by Facebook correlates with their making Facebook Connect available to all developers. As a result, third party products were released and traffic surged on the site.
Moral of the story – sharing is good.
The reality is that these sites cannot exist in isolation of one another. Oshiro describes Facebook as an ecosystem, which is somewhat correct. The bigger point is that we are heading toward online convergence and 3rd party apps are a good first step in that direction.
Facebook is not the ecosystem, the web is the ecosystem and all these sites will one-day interconnect and we will be able to move seemlessly from one to the other.
Sites that understand this will thrive, while those that wish to stand alone in isolation will become the online equivallent of uncharted islands.