Social Networking Soaring In Australia

In so many ways, Australia is arguably the nation that most closely mirrors the U.S. retail scene, much more than the U.K. and even more than does Canada. For that reason, the latest social networking trends from Australia are especially intriguing, as they show that more than 70 percent of Internet users in Australia visited a social networking site in June. To put that into context, that figure last June was 29 percent, according to ComScore. The study also concluded that social networking users accounted for 90 percent of the audience for all of Australia's top Internet properties.

The study limited its visitor base to those older than 14 years and included visits from both home and work, but—for reasons not explained in the report—it excluded visits "from public computers such as Internet cafes" and libraries and it also—oddly enough—excluded visits from mobile phones/PDAs. That last exclusion is enough to raise some serious questions about meaningfulness, especially for Twitter activity, which reported an intense 6,122 percent increase. The report saw Facebook on top, enjoying an impressive 95 percent year-to-year boost, while MySpace came in a distant second, with a mere 5 percent comparable growth. All of the social sites examined had increases, other than Windows Live Profile (which hadn't been seen the prior year) and Bebo, which dropped 9 percent. After Facebook and MySpace, the next in order from the June rankings were Windows Live Profile, Bebo, Twitter, Deviantart (+95 percent), Digg (+50 percent), Tagged (+93 percent), Buzznet (+52 percent) and Orkut (+607 percent).