Lies, damn lies and social networking statistics

Meaningful and detailed social networking statistics can prove elusive, certainly on the open net, so all the better to see a good summary of data from Facebook, MySpace and the lower profile Reunion on Jeremiah’s Web Strategy blog.

Perhaps the most interesting in the post is the Forrester prediction that Facebook will overtake MySpace in terms of registered users by end 2008. Feels about right until you look at the stats on display.

The stats claim 60m active users at present versus 110m for MySpace (but don’t state registered user numbers) – would it really double in a year given its high penetration in the key US market (85% of universities)? And yet, there’s the stat about active users doubling every six months, so it’s possible.

And what about MySpace’s likely growth, particularly when you consider one of the other statistics? Facebook’s average of 250k registrations a day versus MySpace’s 300k. Some catching up to do surely?

Brings to mind the old adage about the three types of lie: “lies, damn lies and (social networking) statistics”, as Jeremiah alludes to in a follow up post.


  1. The predictions were based upon growth rates, Facebook has a very high growth rate, in fact the highest of any social network.

    Predictions are just that, predictions. What’s really important is to look at the bigger picture (what does this mean to my business), rather than focusing on the what ifs.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Jeremiah.

    That’s my point about statistics in that you say Facebook has the highest growth rate – and given your access to data I believe you – and yet the stats above claim a higher growth rate for MySpace.

    Agree that it’s insights over statistics.

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