According to Nielsen/NetRatings, social networking sites attracted 45% of active internet users in America in April. (see article in TechWeb)

MySpace: 38.4 million unique users
Blogger: 18.5 million unique users
Classmates: 12.9 million unique users
YouTube: 12.5 million unique users
MSN Groups: 10.6 million unique users

That’s 92.9 million unique users visiting the same sites but let’s not get overly excited about the numbers – I reckon that a lot of those users are the same people, visiting a number of “social networking” sites.

Blogger shouldn’t be on this list at all – it’s a blogging platform, not a social networking site. In fact, it’s hardly a website at all – you only visit to log in to the tool, not to social network. Subtract Bloggers 18.5 million users from the list please.

I’m also of two minds about the inclusion of YouTube. To me it’s a publishing platform for videos but I suppose there are some who would argue it’s a community. I’m going to subtract their 12.million from the list anyway.

So what are we left with? 61.9 million unique users, many of them unique to each site on the list but visiting more than one site each. (Of course, the two sites I substracted from the list will be replaced by other sites but those sites will be worth less than 10 million unique users each.) So there were about 80 million unique users visiting social networking sites in the US and lots of those users probably visited more than one of them – it’s not quite the “almost half!!” that’s being reported.

Cybersoc by Robin Hamman
With over 13 years of professional experience in the digital and social media industry, and a client portfolio that includes some of the World's most recognisable brands and organisations, I've built a reputation internationally as a leading practitioner in the industry.

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About Robin Hamman

I've been helping some of the World's most widely recognised brands and organisations devise and implement strategic digital and social media programmes since 1999.

I'm currently the EMEA Digital Network Lead at Fleishman Hillard. I've previously held a variety of roles including Managing Director of Dachis Group Europe, Director of Digital at Edelman, Head of Social Media at Headshift, Acting Editor of the BBC Blogs and Executive Producer at ITV.

In addition to my day job, I help my wife run an online retail business selling wool blankets - if you're feeling chilly, check out

I hold a BA in Education, MA in Sociology, MPhil in Communication Studies and a PgDip in Law. I've also been a Non-Residential Fellow at Stanford University Law School and a Visiting Fellow of Journalism at City University, London.

Why In 1995, I tried to register, for the purposes of researching "ordinary users", the username Cybersociologist on AOL. They truncated my name and I stuck with it....

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