Press Releases

August 12, 2008

Social Networking Explodes Worldwide as Sites Increase their Focus on Cultural Relevance

Facebook and Hi5 More than Double Global Visitor Bases During Past Year

RESTON, VA, August 12, 2008 – comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released a study of worldwide usage of social networking sites, indicating that while the growth in new users in North America is beginning to level off, it is burgeoning in other regions around the world. During the past year, the total North American audience of social networkers has grown 9 percent compared to a much larger 25 percent growth for the world at large. The Middle East-Africa region (up 66 percent), Europe (up 35 percent), and Latin America (up 33 percent) have each grown at well-above average rates.

Social Networking Growth by Worldwide Region
June 2008 vs. June 2007
Total Worldwide Audience, Age 15+ - Home and Work Locations
Source: comScore World Metrix
  Unique Visitors (000)
Jun-07 Jun-08 Percent Change
Worldwide 464,437 580,510 25%
Asia Pacific 162,738 200,555 23%
Europe 122,527 165,256 35%
North America 120,848 131,255 9%
Latin America 40,098 53,248 33%
Middle East - Africa 18,226 30,197 66%

“While the social networking trend first took off in North America, it is beginning to reach a point of maturity in the region,” said Jack Flanagan, comScore executive vice president. “However, the phenomenon is still growing rapidly in other regions around the world – especially as the established American brands turn their focus to developing markets.”

Facebook and Hi5 Lead Global Growth among Top Social Networking Sites

During the past year, many of the top social networking sites have demonstrated rapid growth in their global user bases. Facebook.com, which took over the global lead among social networking sites in April 2008, has made a concerted effort to become more culturally relevant in markets outside the U.S. Its introduction of natural language interfaces in several markets has helped propel the site to 153-percent growth during the past year. Meanwhile, the emphasis Hi5.com has put on its full-scale localization strategy has helped the site double its visitor base to more than 56 million. Other social networking sites, including Friendster.com (up 50 percent), Orkut (up 41 percent), and Bebo.com (up 32 percent) have demonstrated particularly strong growth on a global basis.

Worldwide Growth among Selected Social Networking Sites
June 2008 vs. June 2007
Total Worldwide Audience, Age 15+
 Home and Work Locations
Source: comScore World Metrix
  Total Unique Visitors (000)
Jun-2007 Jun-2008 % Change
Total Internet : Total Audience 778,310 860,514 11%
Social Networking 464,437 580,510 25%
FACEBOOK.COM 52,167 132,105 153%
MYSPACE.COM 114,147 117,582 3%
HI5.COM 28,174 56,367 100%
FRIENDSTER.COM 24,675 37,080 50%
Orkut 24,120 34,028 41%
BEBO.COM 18,200 24,017 32%
Skyrock Network 17,638 21,041 19%

Facebook Gains Traction in Europe and Other Regions

Facebook’s recent ascension to become the top global social networking site has been spurred by its substantial growth across worldwide regions. Though its largest visitor base is still in North America (49 million), Facebook’s growth in the region is a relatively modest 38-percent. In every other worldwide region, Facebook’s audience has more than quadrupled. Europe is quickly catching up with North America as Facebook’s largest visitor base with 35 million visitors in June, a 303-percent increase and a net addition of nearly 27 million monthly visitors versus year ago. Other worldwide regions have seen even more dramatic growth on a percentage basis.

Worldwide Growth for Facebook.com
June 2008 vs. June 2007
Total Worldwide Audience, Age 15+
Home and Work Locations
Source: comScore World Metrix
  Total Unique Visitors (000)
Jun-2007 Jun-2008 % Change
FACEBOOK.COM 52,167 132,105 153%
North America 35,698 49,248 38%
Europe 8,751 35,263 303%
Asia Pacific 3,712 20,712 458%
Middle East - Africa 2,974 14,951 403%
Latin America 1,033 11,931 1055%

“Facebook has done an exceptional job of leveraging its brand internationally during the past year,” added Mr. Flanagan. “By increasing the site’s relevance to local markets through local language interface translation, the site is now competing strongly or even capturing the lead in several markets where it had a relatively minor presence just a year ago.”

About comScore
comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/boilerplate.

Contact:
Andrew Lipsman
comScore, Inc.
+1 312 775 6510
press@comscore.com



 

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