Facebook vs. MySpace and Breaking the Sex Barrier

In full discloser, I’m a Facebook fan. For me there is something a bit dark about MySpace, yet I have an account with both. Where do others stand in this battle between these two social networking giants?

According to Google Trends Facebook passed MySpace in the number of Google searches in the first quarter of 2008 and has continued to rise surpassing YouTube searches in the final weeks of 2008.

facebook_vs_myspace

So what is “the sex barrier” and how does it relate? The Sex barrier is represented by the green line in the second graft. If you have more people googling for your product than are googling the word “sex”, you’ve broken passed the sex barrier. Searches for the word “YouTube” passed the word “sex” in the first quarter of 2007, searches for “Facebook” passed it in the second quarter of 2008. MySpace has yet to break the barrier.

sexbarrier

The word Obama did it briefly in November 2008. More people world wide, according to Google, were looking up stories about Obama winning the U.S. Presidential election than were searching for sex related stories, products, etc. However searches for sex did not decrease as a result of the Obama searches. I’m not sure what this data indicates other than marketers have done an excellent job of selling sexuality online. This shouldn’t be a surprise.


The next barrier to pass is the word “free”. In Google searches the word “sex” is no where close to the word “free”. People want free stuff. However, in 2008 both YouTube and Facebook surpassed the magical word “free”.


Compared to these four words; free, YouTube, sex, and Facebook, searches for words like god, war, church, health, cancer, bush, give, and beer hardly register (Sadly, more people and googling for “beer” online than “peace”, but not by much).


So what does all this mean? Several things. First, since I’ve included the words sex and free in this post several times, I will probably get a number of online visits from people who won’t find what they are looking for. Second, using Google Trends is great for getting a ball park idea of search terms people are using. And third, I still like Facebook better than MySpace and I recommend it to everyone, unless you’re a musician. If you are a musician or a singer/songwriter use both. Searches for “MySpace” passed searches for “Music” in mid 2006 and it doesn’t look like it will to change anytime soon. For music, MySpace is on top.

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This entry was posted in 2.0, ads, advertising, Behavior, brand, creative, database, design, disclosure, e-learning, elearning, facebook, free, Google, grow, habits, learning, Marketing, media, money, music, MySpace, NPR, sell, social, youtube. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Facebook vs. MySpace and Breaking the Sex Barrier

  1. marcus says:

    I’ve all but abandoned MySpace. Facebook is a much more intelligently designed system, both from the graphic design/UI standpoint and from a backend architecture standpoint. Also, the ads on Facebook are far less obtrusive than they are on MySpace. I was really glad when Facebook finally started allowing anyone to join, and more of my friends started joining there. Unless myspace completely redesigns the site (both front- and back-end) I suspect it’s only a matter of time before Facebook overtakes them for music too.

  2. I agree, Marcus. From interviews published in FastCompany, September 2008, it appears MySpace is working towards a complete redesign with a larger focus on music. Here is a the link to the article:

    http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/128/myspace-the-sequel.html

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