Social Networking by the Numbers

Some interesting figures from social networking company executives here at the Web 2.0 Summit. Cyworld and MySpace are, more than ever, heads and shoulders above the competition.

SK Communications CEO Hyun-Oh Yoo reports Cyworld has 20 million subscribers in Korea, which is 40 percent of the total Korean population, as well as more than 3 million users in non-Korean countries. He claims 96 percent of 20- to 29-year-old Koreans use Cyworld “regularly,” which is kind of fuzzy, but it implies that all of them are members of the service, which is impressive on its own. The site has 22 million unique visitors per month, 20 billion page views per month, and $300,000 in daily sales of digital items. He also said the site sells 6 million songs per month and has 100,000 videos uploads daily (bigger than the publicly reported YouTube numbers).

A few minutes later Fox Interactive president Ross Levinsohn got on stage and bragged about a couple of MySpace‘s numbers. The site had 320,000 new profiles created around the world yesterday. “We’re adding the size of Buffalo every day,” he quipped. MySpace had 38 billion page views last month. We can’t go number for number to compare with Cyworld, but MySpace currently has 127,572,933 members, according to the number displayed on my profile right now. Levinsohn disputed reports of lagging growth, assuring the traffic dips everyone is making such a fuss about happened in August and September last year too.

These two sites are far and away the giants of their domains. Today Hitwise sent out its measure of U.S. social network market shares by divvying up visits to the top 20 sites in the sector (see chart). MySpace has more that 80 percent of this category. Hitwise’s Matt Tatham also offered a few updated numbers through October, with the only material difference we can see being Facebook taking a slightly bigger chunk. Facebook now has 8.43 percent share, up from 7.24 percent, while MySpace has basically stayed the same with 81.87 percent of the market (last month was 81.92 percent). U.S. social networking traffic has nearly doubled in the meantime, accounting for one in 20 U.S. Internet visits, according to Hitwise.