You get a myth which diverges radically from the reality. The myth is that this is where the Web-for-everyone comes into its own, where millions of users of what was built as a broadcast Web with walled-garden interactive features start talking back to the broadcasters and breaking out of their walled gardens. The reality is that the voices of the geeks are heard even more loudly – and even more disproportionately – than before
Phil, the author of this post also gives a few figures from a study conducted among american students (march 2006):
MySpace is huge, and Facebook’s even huger, but Web 2.0 as we know it? It’s not there. 1.9% use Flickr; 1.6% use Digg; 0.7% use del.icio.us. Answering a slightly different question, 1.5% have ever visited Boingboing, and 1% Technorati. By contrast, 62% have visited CNN.com and 21% bbc.co.uk. It’s still, very largely, a broadcast Web with walled-garden interactivity.
I had a look at the most recent worldwide comscore figures today and paid attention to some emblematic sites of web 2.0. Here are some of those figures:
- Facebook is doing good with a global reach of 5.1%, 22 monthly visits per unique user and an excellent average of 10 minutes per visit
- Social bookmarking remains very niche: Delicious has 0.5% of global reach, only 1.5 monthly visits per unique visitor and an average of 1 minute per visit (and a quiet limited growth on the last 6 months)
- engadget.com, the technorati champion, has slightly better results than delicious with 0.5% reach (5 times more than boingboing), 1.9 monthly visits per unique visitor and 1.5 minutes per visit
- Twitter is still tiny: less than 0.1% reach, 1,8 monthly visits per unique visitor and 2,7 minutes per visit (this doesn’t include usage on mobile devices)
- Google, Microsoft properties and Yahoo are the only properties with more than 60% reach worldwide. Microsoft is by far the champion of the minutes spent on its network (overall and per user)
You also have some 2.0 big guys out there: like wikipedia (27% reach), youtube (22%) or myspace (14%) but I remain with the impression that our perception of the market is a little biased by our blogging and social networking own experiences.
Reach is not a central element of the new marketing but are the audiences of web 2.0 important enough for the major brands? I don’t think so.
I don’t want to say that the conversation doesn’t make sense. Au contraire! Nevertheless, many people haven’t joinded the global conversation yet. The web 2.0 will lead brands to redefine their marketing mix. This will be a matter of proportions (how much do I withdraw from TV to invest in conversational monitoring and marketing?), of marketing goals (Which marketing objective will be fulfilled thanks to conversational marketing?) and processes (How do I spread the consumer feedback in my company? How does it impact my value proposition?).
Don’t get me wrong. the reach of the social media is growing (not booming) and brands already need to consider this phenomenon but let’s remain realistic and face the facts: We are maybe overhyping the conversation…. or overhyping marketing through social networks.
Am I wrong? What is your interpretation of the web 2.0 figures?