The other day I was reading an article about Orkut becoming the fastest growing social network ever. I’ve decided to do a basic analysis between Facebook and MySpace.

Why did I decide to write this article? Yesterday, I found myself logging into Facebook, and realized that I rarely log into MySpace anymore. Why? Because I hate it. The design is horrendous and many of the people I’m linked through have no real connection to me; let alone the fact that I am frequently a victim of direct spamming from MySpace members. On Facebook I have connections only to those that I have a real relationship with.

The following graph illustrates the daily reach of the three main social networking sites Myspace, Orkut, and Facebook: [Graph Gone :(]

There are other social networking sites such as LinkedIn, but I’m referring to the main 3 non-professional social networking sites. While this graph definitely supports Markus Frind’s article that Orkut is the fastest growing social network, it also illustrates a few other interesting things:

  1. It took Orkut 2 solid years before the social network really caught on,
  2. Once Orkut caught on, it grew to Myspace’s size in a short amount of time, and
  3. Facebook has yet to experience it’s exponential growth.

Both Orkut and Myspace have gone through their tipping points, but Facebook has yet to go through that phase. I believe that once Facebook reaches its critical mass and crosses the “tipping point”, the site will be larger than both MySpace and Orkut. Facebook has organized their content much more effectively in addition to having a much sleeker design than its two main competitors.

Unfortunately, I cannot explain why Facebook has yet to experience their tipping point, but the answer can be found through asking “what caused Orkut’s exponential growth beginning at the start of the second quarter of 2006?” That again is another question I cannot answer, but when Facebook is able to figure that out, I’m confident they will grow to become the largest non-professional social network on the internet. One thing that would help spur rapid growth would be the acquisition of Facebook by a larger corporation. Everyone seems to be wondering when that will occur. The main barrier to an acquisition is that Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, has been shopping the site around for a reported $2 billion, almost 4 times the amount MySpace was sold to Fox for.

I’m not sure when the Facebook revolution will take place, but be rest assured, it will happen; there is no way that a much better designed site with better features will go overlooked by the social networking community.