Why Do Polls Insist on Pushing Facebook’s Popularity and Treading on MySpace and Twitter?
Every Internet poll is abuzz today with how Facebook seems to be taking over the whole social network scene: they reportedly have more page visits than even Google. Two out of three social network visits on the Internet have been to Facebook: and these visits cannibalize MySpace’s share to arrive there. Twitter has posted impressive tenfold growth to show too. But their actual market share is in the low single digits still. But is this really true? How can Twitter, whose stranglehold on conversation space the world over seems total, be so limited in its popularity? It is possible that in the Internet traffic polling service that came out with these results, Hitwise, is not using the most reliable methods to record market share and growth.
Twitter, it so happens, is all about getting snatches of information; this lends itself very well to being used through an external interface, an API, a plug-in. People do not actually need to visit Twitter to be able to access it, and most take advantage of the external access facility. A study puts Twitter access through add-ons at ten times the number of accesses seen through browser visits. Polls like Hitwise, possibly only count visits through traditional Internet browsers. But there is another side to this; Facebook, even as it requires time to use, sometimes posts as much growth as Twitter, if measured month on month.
All of this brings us to this question: why do important news outlets ignore the need for accurate statistics. MySpace is being measured for its grave already even when it still has a reasonably loyal social networking market share of a third. Reports now suggest that MySpace is the domain of choice for the less fashionable, less influential parts of society. Twitter and Facebook on the other hand, could not to find more enthusiastic approval from the chic clique. Is it possible that news outlets just want to see that their favorites make it to the top? An interesting development is on its way here. MySpace is making bold moves to win back its audience by focusing on its music again. If the media supports this come-back move as enthusiastically as it follows the downfall, we would have a clue to how fair media reporting was.