MySpace matters more (and less) than we think

We all know MySpace is huge, with over 100 million users. But oddly, it gets almost no play in the informal web 2.0 press.

Look at the Web 2.0 Workgroup, digg, reddit, delicious, newsvine, tailrank, or the aggregator of aggregators: popurls. How often is MySpace mentioned? Very seldom.

I think there’s a bit of attitude there. We (20 and 30-something social media devotees) have a kind of MySpace snobbery. We know it’s mainly the province of less tech-savvy, younger, and more pop culture people, and we know the site itself actually sucks. So we ignore it – to our peril, since it’s a huge story in social networking and technology. Perhaps bigger than the bloggers bible, Technorati.

But MySpace also matters less than some think.

Jeff Atwood pointed that out: total users does not equal total usage. Or, as I prefer: total accounts does not equal total use. Jeff cites LiveJournal stats:

  • 1 in 3 accounts are never used
  • 1 in 5 accounts are “active in some way”
  • 1 in 10 accounts updated in the last 30 days

Use that data as a benchmark, extrapolate a little, and you get the astonishing figure that there are maybe 10-20 million active MySpace accounts … significantly less than the 100 million total. Give MySpace the benefit of the doubt, because their users are active, more social, and younger, and the total might be 30 million.

From both perspectives, MySpace matters more – and less – than we think.

[tags] myspace, accounts, users, livejournal, tailrank, delicious, reddit, newsvine, web 2.0, social media, popurls [/tags]