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Who Were the Major Social Media Players of 2011?

January 26th, 2012 ::

Major Social Media Players

From social media IPO activity to the entrance of several upstarts, the U.S. social networking market is strong – and exciting.  comScore recently released its report, “It’s a Social World: Top 10 Need-to-Knows About Social Networking and Where It’s Headed,” an in-depth look at the global social networking market.  Here are some highlights from the U.S. market:

Facebook on top

It’s no surprise that Facebook is still the top U.S. social networking site, boasting 166 million unique visitors in November.  And, how much time are we really spending on Facebook?  The average user spent 6.6 hours in November, up 37 percent in the past year.

We’re number two!

LinkedIn and Twitter have been vying for the number two spot in audience size for a while now.  Twitter took second place in November with 35.4 million unique visitors, only slightly ahead of LinkedIn with 35 million unique visitors.

MySpace still alive and kicking

Even though we don’t hear much about MySpace these days, the network is still holding its own.  MySpace is currently in fourth place with 25 million unique visitors; however, its audience has declined steadily over the past two years.

Upstarts worth mentioning

Three newish social networks are gaining prominence – and audience members – while introducing fresh engagement tactics.  Tumblr has increased its U.S. visits by 131 percent since November 2010, to 15.9 million.  Tumblr is also winning points for engagement and is second only to Facebook, as its average user spends 2.4 hours on the site each month.

Google+ has gotten plenty of attention this year, and it got plenty of traffic, too.  In November, the site received 15.2 million unique visits, just behind Tumblr.  What’s really exciting about Google+ is its future:  its integration with other Google products make it an important one to watch in 2012.

Finally, Pinterest, which I recently wrote about, deserves kudos for its quick rise in the social networking ranks.  Since May 2011, Pinterest has soared from 418,000 unique visitors to nearly 4.9 million in November.  Its engagement rates are impressive, too, with the average visitor spending nearly an hour and a half on the site each month.  Add to that the fact that users spend more than 15 minutes on Pinterest per visit, making the site third in consumer engagement.

Even though Facebook currently remains the clear leader in the U.S. social networking market, there is plenty of room for other players to shake up the industry with new innovations.  2012 looks to be equally exciting on the social media front, so be sure to watch for emerging trends.

Image courtesy of creative design agency Arrae

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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