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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Zillions of social network sites

There are now more than 1 million social network sites. Some may hear that and think, "Wow, a million+ Facebook- and MySpace-type sites?!" Well, sorta. What Mashable's actually reporting on with that figure is Ning's explosive growth. In the fewer than four years since Ning's launch, more than a million mini-MySpaces have sprung up on its network. These are smaller, more narrow-interest social network sites - from those focused on a particular celebrity to cooking to a conference to a local club - with all the same features (video, photos, groups, blogs, comments, etc.). This is different from MySpace and Facebook, which are huge and general - more social utilities than nings. Just another sign of the diversification of fixed and mobile social-Web use (see "Where will online teens go next?"). Meanwhile, here are very recent rankings of the big "stand-alone" social network sites from Hitwise and Nielsen at SocialNetworkingWatch.com.

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