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Facebook passes MySpace in the US. Facebook, Thank Gen Y

June 17, 2009

By, Todd Liss

It was announced yesterday by Com Score that Facebook traffic overtook MySpace domestically for the month of May.  Although Facebook’s traffic (70.278 million unique visitors) had just slightly more than MySpace (70.237 million) this big news in the online world.

It is also important first to point out that Facebook had already passed MySpace in traffic worldwide earlier this year and now they are on top in the US as well.

PC world wrote a good piece on the swap:

Lets look at this through our Gen Y lens.  In general Facebook passing MySpace was driven by Gen Y, but not directly caused by Gen Y.   We all know that Gen Y were the innovators/early adopters and are for the most part social networking mavens.  As of January of this year, the fastest growing Facebook demographic was the 35-54 demo which grew at 276.4%.  So how did all of this lead to the crowning of Facebook as king…

Well, lets start with the 35-54 demographic growing that fast on Facebook, and combine that with MySpace losing 5% market share in the last year.  The pass was inevitable. 

This is a case for Gen Y being the tipping point for social media.  As soon as the majority of Gen Y adopted Facebook as their social networking site of choice, the other demographics following suit was only a matter of time.  This adoption was the tipping point for the other demographics is adopt rapidly; for Facebook to past MySpace. 

This changing of the guard of sorts has just as much to do with MySpace doing bad, as Facebook doing good. MySpace’s rise took advantage of a perfect situation with the death of Friendster.  Lets remember Friendster died because of a mass exodus caused by their overloaded system and servers.  MySpace was there to pick up the pieces, only to drive their faithful away and cause an exodus of sorts on their own.

Gen Y came to see MySpace as the place for Spamming, clutter and security threats.  This combined with Facebook opening their site to the public made for an easy transfer from the once dominant MySpace to the new and improved Facebook.  The innovators/early adopters (Gen Y) drove most of the switch, and the early/late majority following recently (which killed MySpace).

Facebook unlike MySpace has learned from the mistakes of those made before them, as has tried to be as conscience as possible over their delicate users.  They skillfully turned a privacy rights issue into a success, changed their format to compete with a surging Twitter and just this week allowed vanity url’s for profiles.

Facebook is listening to Gen Y who is hesitant to trust big media and old school forms of information.  Facebook knows that if they make their users (Gen Y) unhappy, they will leave for somewhere else without hesitation.  Because of this Facebook is more successful than ever.

 So if you think that this Facebook/MySpace rivalry doesn’t impact you because you say… own a bakery, think again.  This is the perfect example of the newfound power that Gen Y wields in the marketplace.  They are the most educated, interconnected, picky, but open minded market segment yet.  If you keep Gen Y happy, good things should follow.

 So bakers, if Gen Y doesn’t like your bread, or how they are treated buying your bread, or really anything about your bread buying process; you can assume they’re going to another bakery… or switching to wraps.


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