Online Social Networkers ‘Chronically Unfaithful’

A new report on “Web 2.0 and the New Net” finds that “social networkers have little loyalty for any specific social networking site. Almost half of all social networkers use more than one site and one in six uses three or more.” BizReport‘s Helen Leggatt adds,

Forty percent of MySpace users maintain a profile on other social networking sites such as FaceBook and Friendster. Users of smaller social networks are even more likely to have several profiles with 50 percent having more than one, according to the report.

“MySpace is a growing ecosystem and one that ironically now extends beyond MySpace itself,” said John Barrett, the lead author of the report, via Digital Trends. This interlinking between various social networking sites demonstrates the viral spread potential of material of interest to users.

Not only is this unsurprising but the premise behind the question reflects a deep misunderstanding of the Web 2.0 concept. Social media aren’t about loyalty to sites but rather a means of self-expression and growing and communicating with one’s network.

I’ve never seen the utility of MySpace but I’ve got a Facebook profile and group, a YouTube channel, a LinkedIn profile, and a Flickr page, in addition to a personal website and multiple blogs. Many of these things are interlinked. Why wouldn’t they be? They’re all online extensions of me.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Three points:

    1.) You limit the reach of your online presence if you use only one social network.

    2.) There’s a coordination problem. Not all your friends and colleagues use the same social network. I have college friends who use LinkedIn but not Facebook. If I stuck with only Facebook I’d miss out on maintaining those connections electronically.

    3.) The cost of creating and maintaining multiple profiles are pretty low. It’s easy to play around building and maintaining connections. Facebook really makes it easy with their e-mails telling me friends have sent me messages or commented on notes and pictures.

  2. soccer dad says:

    Unfaithful, perhaps. But honest.