Internet media and market research firm Nielsen//NetRatings has released a report detailing the growth of online communities such as Friends Reunited, Blogger, MySpace, and many others. Over 57 million member community web pages are viewed per day totaling almost 1.8 billion viewed monthly by their members. In the UK alone over half of the online population participates in a member based online community site.
Alex Burmaster, European Internet Analyst at Nielsen//NetRatings says "Whilst most of the talk about the future of the web revolves around which of the giant media companies will win the battle to enable people to watch TV through the Internet, a revolution of more immediate substance is already underway. The popularity of social networking and community sites in the UK are growing day by day – particularly amongst the young who, after all, will be responsible for the future of the Internet. Sites such as MySpace, bebo and MSN Spaces dominate those most likely to be visited by the teenage market. The future of online to the young is about what the Internet is best at – communicating and interacting - not watching TV. The sheer volume in the way that people use these sites, whether it's finding friends, family or sharing their experiences and lives with others, is connecting and bringing people together in a way that was unimaginable before the Internet. It has fundamentally shifted, perhaps even created, the way in which new micro-societies are being formed and relate to each other. It will be interesting to see how these affect the general construction of society in the years to come as the web increasingly underpins more of our daily lives."
Boasting membership of over five million online and one million plus visitors per day, Faceparty is the number one community site in the UK totaling more pages viewed per person than Google, eBay, and the BBC combined.
Burmaster continues "Member communities are the most popular brands in the UK when you look at it in terms of the average number of web pages viewed per visitor. For example, if you consider that just the average Faceparty visitor views 23 pages within that site every day you can begin to comprehend how deeply ingrained the member community experience is in the lives of today's online population."