I created a perceptual map comparing the performance of different social networks in the US. The data I used to plot the map was the number of quarters since founding (x-axis) and the number of unique monthly visits multiplied by the average time spent on a site (y-axis) which I will call “unique minutes”.
I used unique minutes because membership count and unique visits do not consider the value per user; combining unique visits with average time on site gives a value that better reflects the total value of a social network. The horizontal axis in turn gives a good indication of a platform’s potential, the further on the left a platform is the less potential it has to achieve a dominant position.
- Data is from Compete & Alexa and for only for the US
- Vertical axis (Unique minutes) is on a log scale
- The time within an arc represents eight quarters or two years
The way to read this chart is that the networks on the upper right are the best performers while those on the lower left are the worst performers. The arcs represent performance classes where Facebook and Google+ are in the highest performance class. Note that Linkedin and Myspace are in the same performance class and generated $243 million and $288 million respectively in 2010.
Inspired by Asymco – “The Frontiers of Platform Adoption”
- I could not find data for average number of minutes spent for Google+ so I used google.com data as a proxy. Note that Google+’s unique minutes & membership is subject to significant change
- Twitter may be significantly undervalued by this analysis because it has a relatively low average time spent on site. This is most likely because twitter users more commonly use other channels such as mobile phone apps.