@ OPA: France’s Skyblog Aims For Larger Slice Of Social Net Space

One of Europe’s most active social networking-type websites is a little-talked-about French blog platform. Skyblog, which is allied to the Skyrock youth radio station, numbers about 7.5 million bloggers (way ahead of MySpace) and, CEO Pierre Bellanger said, the operation’s content monitoring effort is monitoring a million pictures every day. “In terms of pages viewed, we rank ahead of Microsoft, France Telecom and others,” Bellanger said. January ComScore data puts the service at 14.7 million unique monthly visitors and 4.6 billion page views, placing it at 163 in the world ranking of websites according to uniques, he boasted. “Not too bad for a site that is only available in French. We are aimed at only 5 percent of internet users and we go at the 21st position rank. Month-on-month growth in unique visitors is 9 percent.” He said 27,000 new Skyblogs are created every day. Bellanger launched the service after noting the growth of blogs in the US in 2001. Skyblog has fuelled France’s impressive weblog growth, making the country Europe’s top blogging nation, especially amongst Skyrock’s 13-to-24 age bracket. Bellanger: “The new medium is people, the new culture is participatory. The new generation has made continuous connection to the web a common practicee – conversation is at the core of the relationships, the web is the new centre of gravity. Our challenge is to become the major world-use social network. Our radio network is now sharper, stronger because it is constantly soaking up thousands of messages sent to the studio.”