MySpace is still the top dog among social networks in the United States, according to researcher Hitwise, but its No. 2 rival Facebook is gaining fast.
MySpace attracted as much as 73 percent of U.S. visitor market share for social networks in June, down by 6 percent from the same period last year, according to a report released Wednesday from Hitwise. Facebook, its more staid social rival, lured about 17 percent of the U.S. market, up 40 percent from June 2007.
It's still a wide margin, but Facebook's threat looms large. And Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg emphasized this week that the company's primary goal is growth.
Also of note was MyYearbook.com's ascent in the last year. Its market share grew by 318 percent to a 1.54 percent market share in June.
Hitwise reported a similar story in relation to time spent on social networks. In June, MySpace commanded the most time from its members, who spend an average of 31 minutes on the site, down by 4 percent from the previous year. In contrast, Facebook members logged an average of 21 minutes, up by 41 percent from the comparable period last year.
In the United Kingdom, Facebook's picture is even rosier. There, the company accounted for 45 percent of the U.K. market share for social networks in June, a year-to-year rise of 188 percent. Former leader Bebo.com was No. 2 with a 25 percent share; and MySpace ranked third with a nearly 15 percent share.