Just An Online Minute... Friends In High Places
A Nielsen//NetRatings analysis released today finds that Friendster has grown unique audiences by 74 percent since NetRatings began tracking it in June. The so-called member community site had 927,000 visitors in October 2003, with an average one hour 51 minutes per user on the site. It had 532,000 visitors in June 2003.
But Friendster is not the most popular personals site on the Web; it's actually not even a personals site, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. Yahoo! Personals tops the list, with 4.9 million visitors and an average 35 minutes per user in October. Match had 3.9 million visitors and an average 55 minutes per user during the month, followed by AmericanSingles with 3.7 million users, MSN Dating & Personals with 1.9 million visitors and Netscape Love & Personals with 1.5 million visitors.
Increasing since June were Yahoo! Personals and Netscape Love & Personals. Match, American Singles and MSN Dating & Personals fell in unique audiences.
Lauren Taub, an analyst at Nielsen//NetRatings, said that member-community sites like Friendster are becoming a popular social network on the Web.
"Friendster's growth is impressive, but it is too early to tell if it's early success is explained by unique functionalist or the fact that it is currently a free service," Taub said.
-- Paul J. Gough