NewsFlash: Social network users are unfaithful

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It’s all very well for Facebook to be smug about it’s new found success but a new report suggests that the latest vogue for social networking is built on the same shaky ground as any other site on the Net which is but a click away.

In particular, MySpace users are chronically unfaithful, according to Parks Associates‘ “Web 2.0 & the New Net,” a new report that focuses on the social networking market. Nearly 40% percent of MySpace users keep profiles on other social networking sites such as Friendster and Facebook. Loyalty among the smaller social networking sites is even lower, with more than 50% of all users actively maintaining multiple profiles.

The report also found that nearly half of all social networkers regularly use more than one site; one in six use three or more. The end result is mish-mash of sites, blogs and profiles tied together by links, widgets, and the users themselves. “MySpace is a growing ecosystem and one that ironically now extends beyond MySpace itself,” said John Barrett, the lead author of the report, “Web 2.0 & the New Net.”

Indeed. Some might say it’s either an “ecosystem” or it’s part of a diaspora to other networks. The jury is out.

Although Parks calls this trend a “fertile ground for new social networking sites and application providers”, the reality is that Facebook is getting all the media airtime at the moment, and one wonders how long MySpace can continue with its tendency towards a walled garden (promoted by aging News Corp. executives) strategy in the wake of such extreme competition.

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