Social Networking Websites Still Attract Young People Says Report

Far from dying from a slow death, social networking websites are growing significantly as the number of 15-24 year olds going on those properties reached 6.8 million in June 2009.

That was a growth of 14 percent from June 2008 according to Web Analyst company Comscore. The report is in direct contradiction with the research paper released last week by telecommunications watchdog Ofcom which showed that only 50 percent of youths aged between 15 and 25 year old had a social networking profile.

Comscore SVP Mike Read gave a simple reason why Ofcom's results might have been skewed. Younger users, he said, are moving to Facebook from websites like Bebo or Myspace with numbers for the last two looking depressing at best.

Bebo is down by 27 percent while Myspace lost 25 percent of its users in one year. In comparison, Facebook grew by 51 percent in the 15-24 year old segment over the same 12 months. Furthermore, the research does not take into consideration the under-15 year old category which is still unaccounted for.

Comscore data also showed that 77 percent of UK Facebook users are aged 25 years and above compared to only 64.6 percent for Bebo and 68.5 for Myspace.

Even more significant is the amount of time spent by Facebook users on the social networking website which grew by 59 percent to 1,512 minutes per month, that's more than one day. In comparison, Myspace users spent only 105 minutes (or less than 4 minutes per day) on the website, a drop of 64 percent.