Social networking users tend to get around, as they say, and not stay faithful to one network, according to a new study. The report, Web 2.0 & the New Net, by research group Parks Associates, found that MySpace users are chronically unfaithful. The survey found that nearly 40 per cent of MySpace users keep profiles on other …
This matchs reality
There is an old saying that you are only five handshakes away from the President of the USA. This is because there are 2 types of people.
1 - The villagers : They form tight knit groups.
2 - the travelers : They move from group to group linking them together to form a whole.
Myspace has frequent problems with reliability, errors occurring when send messages etc.
Other sites have more features, Facebook has an API when people can create extra features for the site.
Nobody pays to use these sites, so it's no big deal having more than one profile. Some of us join them to stop the nagging messages you get when someone invites you.
This isn't remotely suprising. I personally only have a Facebook account, however this means that any friends I have with MySpace accounts are cut off from me, and me from them.
As all social networks are insular your only way to network with everyone is to join multiple networks.
This is even more true with small sites, you might really love them, but because virtually noone you know uses them, you would keep accounts on the major sites as well.
This is the same as for example Instant Messaging, again because the providers are insular, and talking to your friends MSN messenger account requires you to have one.
No real surprise
It doesn't seem a big surprise to me or any kind of test of loyalty. None of the social networking sites are exclusive so users can effectively sign up to as many as they like easily with no repercussions, so it would be more of a surprise if the opposite were true, after all, nobody who has a Tesco card regards it as a betrayal to shop at Sainsburys.
A better test of loyalty would be to ask "If you could only sign up to one social networking site, which would it be?".
Hardly surprising, actually
When you see how easy it is to maintain a profile on one social network, why limit yourself ? For people who desperately need contact and cannot manage to do so in real life, it is probably a trifling matter to update three or more profiles on different networks. This also has the advantage of giving those people the impression that they really know a lot of people, which can only boost their morale.
For some people, there is probably a necessity, professional or otherwise, to be able to be easily contacted. By managing several profiles on high-ranking social networks, these people can maximize their "connectability" to the level they need.
Personally, I'm a Luddite when it comes to social networks. I've been invited to a few, accepted one, and I hardly do anything with it. I'm occupied enough in real life to not feel the need to bother with a social network.
I find it hard to believe that anyone would be surprised by those findings for the very fact that they are called 'Social' networks. Why would someone who is social by nature stick to a single site when they can easily keep several updated and widen their social networks a lot more by utilising some or all of the available offerings.
A lot of business people who are on Facebook for example will probably still have a LinkedIn account. Add to that someone who has a specific interest such as music might also have an account with Last.fm. Single people may belong to a dating community but not want to have that associated with their Facebook/MySpace profile.
If a new social network site appears and all your friends start to use it - then you will probably use it too just to keep in touch with them all. However you will probably still keep any old network accounts to keep all those friends that haven't switched.
At some point...
... these people might actually wake up and realise that they don't need these waste of space sites at all. There are other ways to keep in touch with your friends you know!
This is such a shock I will have to sit down for a few minutes
This is pretty much the same as saying that (most) people have more than one group of friends or collegues. Does that make them "unfaithful"?
I don't care
Facebook, MySpace, Friendster. Bah humbug. I'm not posting anything about myself on any of these sites. Too many prospective employers Google me. I'd rather they found my papers and professional organizations.
The only "social" site I belong to is LinkedIn. But, again, that's more of a professional site.
Perhaps theres too many self obsessed people who feel that one platform isnt enough.
Hey I do nothing interesting and nobody is speaking to me here, obviously it's everybody elses problem. I had better create another 'interesting' entry about how I couldn't get a seat on the train for the third time this year
My space & stuff is fine for bands artists with exhibitions to promote etc, but really people. Theres just too many emos in the universe these days
Love n hisses
Well said, Dillon and Rob.
I don't even blog, so why a social network? My contacts in my phone, my outlook, my girlfriend's memory (so much better than mine), all work well enough for me. And when I become an international man of mystery or somesuch, I'll blog, cos I'll have something to write about, But ramblings about my day? It's like a competition to fill the internet up! :)
How is this surprising? We need 'multi-headed' social networking.
Worst thing about those sites is the way they exclude their competitors (or rather they pretend that the competitors don't exist). None of the users benefit from this idiotic policy, which after all is just a dumb strategy tax. For that reason they will never be able to compete with good ol' fashion email & telephone, unless they can come up with a more inclusive business model. It's not platform lock-in, it's platform lock-out!
The killer app would be a social networking site which automatically registers you with [your choice of] the most popular social networking sites, gathers your contacts from all those sites, synchronises the data (so that if you have a friend on more than one site, the profiles get merged), scrapes any updates and presents them for you in a nice, user-friendly way. I know that's a tall order, technically speaking, but in terms of commerce, it seems like a no-brainer, so why has nobody done this yet?
facebook appears to be the most 'open' because it allows you to mash up apps which scrape content from other social networking sites, even lets you link to them directly, but you still have to set up an account with those sites manually. facebook also lets you share your actual email address and phone number, which the others seem to actively discourage.
With messenger clients, it will always make more sense to use (say) Trillian or Adium instead of the locked-in single platform versions. First to market with a 'multiheaded' social network site will score big.
It would be great to be able to pick a social networking site purely on the basis of features, but of course, no matter how great a site is, they insist on resorting to some kind of platform lock-out because they force their users to be fickle.
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