Nielsen Online has ranked the most popular and fastest growing social media websites in the U.K., based on studies conducted between Jan 2007 and Jan 2008. Facebook has overtaken Bebo and MySpace to become the most popular social network, but it is not the fastest growing social media site.
According to this study, 20.8 million Internet users in the U.K. have visited at least one of the 10 most popular social media websites in January 2008, accounting for 63% of the country’s online population. Compared to 17.1 million (42%) visiitors in January 2007, the figure represents a 21.6% growth in popularity of social media.
YouTube has overtaken Wikipedia, to become the new most popular social media website. Also Facebook and Slide, which were nowhere in the top 10 list last year, are now prominently figured in it at position 3 and 7 respectively, while Friends Reunited and Google Video which were in the top 10, have slid down to 16 and 14 respectively.
Social media sites that started out as a tiny part of the Internet have grown to become its main lifeline, which is proved by the fact that about two thirds of online Britons visit these sites.
Last year’s stars MySpace and Bebo, which was acquired by AOL today, have lost favour with UK audiences. Facebook is the most popular social network, but it too seems to be loosing its glamour as its growth has reportedly slowed down.
Social network PerfSpot, instead took the top spot as the fastest growing social media site, having grown by 713% in the last 9 months, which is even more than Facebookâ€™s 712% over the last year.
Six of the fastest growing 10 sites are video sites, of which vidShadow has grown by 639% in just 2 months from November 2007. While most of the social media sites in the top 10 ranking are networks, the video sites are the fastest growing, which means they could even overtake the networks during the course of 2008. With the rapid improvements seen in video technology and easy accessibility, video sites seem to hfave become the hot favorite in the U.K.