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It’s around six months since I last threw out some truly mindboggling pieces of data surrounding social media. So, what’s happened between then and now

I try to put as much information as I can into Econsultancy’s Social Media Statistics, which is part of our Stats Compendium (a truly awesome resource) but I find it’s always interesting to go back and review the old against the new.

So, I’ve collected as much as I can from my previous insane snippets of data and benchmarked it against the here and now, alongside rooting out some new stuff for you to mull over.

If six months ago, it wasn’t a compelling case to consider social media in the marketing mix, then this hopefully might change your mind...

  • Facebook claims that 50% of active users log into the site each day. This would mean at least 175m users every 24 hours… A considerable increase from the previous 120m.
  • Twitter now has 75m user accounts, but only around 15m are active users on a regular basis. It’s still a fair increase from the estimated 6-10m global users from a few months ago.
  • LinkedIn has over 50m members worldwide. This means an increase of around 1m members month-on-month since July/August last year.
  • Facebook currently has in excess of 350 million active users on global basis. Six months ago, this was 250m… meaning around a 40% increase of users in less than half a year.
  • Flickr now hosts more than 4bn images. A massive jump from the previous 3.6bn I wrote about.
  • More than 35m Facebook users update their status each day. This is 5m more than towards the end of July, 2009.
  • Wikipedia currently has in excess of 14m articles, meaning that it’s 85,000 contributors have written nearly a million new posts in six months.
  • Photo uploads to Facebook have increased by more than 100%. Currently, there are around 2.5bn uploads to the site each month – this was around a billion last time I covered this.
  • There are more than 70 translations available on Facebook. Last time around, this was only 50.
  • Back in 2009, the average user had 120 friends within Facebook. This is now around 130.
  • Mobile is even bigger than before for Facebook, with more than 65m users accessing the site through mobile-based devices. In six months, this is over 100% increase. (Previously 30m). As before, it’s no secret that users who access Facebook through mobile devices are almost 50% more active than those who don’t.

Okay, so now some new stuff that’s worth considering when looking at social media marketing that I’ve not included in previous posts:

  • There are more than 3.5bn pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, etc.) shared each week on Facebook.
  • There are now 11m LinkedIn users across Europe.
  • Towards the end of last year, the average number of tweets per day was over 27.3 million.
  • The average number of tweets per hour was around 1.3m.
  • More than 700,000 local businesses have active Pages on Facebook.
  • Purpose-built Facebook pages have created more than 5.3bn fans.
  • 15% of bloggers spend 10 or more hours each week blogging, according to Technorati's new State of the Blogosphere.
  • At the current rate, Twitter will process almost 10bn tweets in a single year.
  • About 70% of Facebook users are outside the USA.
  • India is currently the fastest-growing country to use LinkedIn, with around 3m total users.
  • More than 250 Facebook applications have over a million combined users each month.
  • 70% of bloggers are organically talking about brands on their blog.
  • 38% of bloggers post brand or product reviews.
  • More than 80,000 websites have implemented Facebook Connect since December 2008 and more than 60m Facebook users engage with it across these external sites each month.

Impressive stuff, but as always, take these stats with a pinch of salt. As before, no single piece of information can be used to base an online strategy upon, or be used as a forecast as to the direction a specific social media channel may take in the future - you need to fully understand your marketing and business objectives before launching off into this apparently vast space. 

[Image source: thekeithhall, via Flickr. Various rights reserved]
Jake Hird

Published 29 January, 2010 by Jake Hird

Jake Hird is Econsultancy Australia's Director of Research and Education. Follow him on Twitter and Google+, connect with him on LinkedIn or see what he's keeping an eye on via diigo

126 more posts from this author

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Pat @ Software for Small Business

Those statistics (assuming they are reasonably accurate) highlight the importance and maturity level of the social media area. They also support the belief that the within a short few years any company that is not fully engaged in social media activities will lose a substantial section of its potential market to its competitors.

over 6 years ago

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Ryan Biggs

What does Facebook mean by "50% of Active users"?  What constitutes an active user?  Your 175m/day is 50% of all 350m user profiles on Facebook...are those all active users?

over 6 years ago

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Ralph Leon

Thanks for this post. Accurate or not, these are very interesting stats and they still show very important patterns. Last year social media was a fairly new concept, but as the stats show the activity is increasing. Looking forward to more statistical updates!

over 6 years ago

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Amit Desai

Very well laid out statistics. I am sure social media enthusiasts like me willl be benfitied with this data. I have also accumulated data for internet usage in the year 2009 i am sure it will be of good help to you http://www.gigathoughts.com/technology/internet-usage-statistics-in-2009.html

over 6 years ago

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Liz

Twitter was cited to have ~10 million users in a New York Times interview with CEO Evan Williams in December 2008. In summer 2009, they reportedly had 20-24 million accounts. It's still a big increase to 75 million users but not as large a jump as you claim.

over 6 years ago

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farouk

i really wonder what will happen in the next few years

over 6 years ago

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Claire Jarrett

"38% of bloggers post brand or product reviews." - really?  I haven't come across any bloggers doing this recently, that is a surprise...

over 6 years ago

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Dennis Hollingworth @ Red Creative Moves

No mention of the ROi though, whether that be time or financial or both?

over 6 years ago

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Gene Gerwin

Any statistics for participation by business-to-business companies?

over 6 years ago

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Nick Hilditch

Impressive growth statistics. What evidence is there that social media activity makes money, especially in b2b markets?

over 6 years ago

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David Pratt

I dread to think what the software architectural challenges involved in managing the scale of growth, and the user activity levels in some of those examples are.

over 6 years ago

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Dorri Olds

When clients ask me if social media works i have a few answers for them: if they were to go to a work function and brought business cards and stood in the corner not much would happen. if they made a point of saying hello to a lot of people and asking interesting questions and sharing interesting services and giving out their business card they'd have much more chances of getting a call for their business services. Same thing with social media. Follow topics, get involved, spend time and it works gr8! The other point I make is that if a client joined a gym and spent five minutes one time per month they would see no results. BUT! If they got involved, spent time and applied themself, results would be evident. That's my two cents about why I spend so much time on social media. Cheers, Dorri

over 6 years ago

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Davina K. Brewer

Numbers and stats are fine, except that is social media a numbers game? The blog counts, Twitter followers are less important than the fact that consumers are shifting attention elsewhere, so marketers are having to follow them. But of course, just as people have managed to skip ads on the TV, they now ignore them on Facebook.

Nick makes a good point about SM for businesses, esp. B2B; businesses are in the business of making money, so the returns are the most important numbers. These stats should be taken with more than just a pinch of salt, but they are very relevant in creating the plan. YES to the looking at the field and forming a real strategy based on marketing AND business goals. FWIW.

over 6 years ago

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Joshua Swodeck

"you need to fully understand your marketing and business objectives before launching off into this apparently vast space."

This is so true. This part should be highlighted with big red arrows pointing to it. It seems so many business are jumping on the bandwagon of Social Media without truly understanding  their strategic objectives in doing so. Like a teenager with a new drivers permit aimlessly wandering the streets with the wind in their hair. It's fun, exciting...maybe even a little scary, but is it productive?

over 6 years ago

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Tom Williams

These numbers are staggering but I didn't see a single stat on increase in revenues, profitability, ROI...etc. I believe in social media fully and I know the power. It's time we got busy and began measuring the effects.

over 6 years ago

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Glenn

If Twitter only has 15 million active users--why can't my TweetDeck load my few panels every try. Me thinks the usage of actives is much more.

over 6 years ago

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Ashika

Amazing post.Very informative

over 6 years ago

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Neville

Another stat: number of mentions so far of Myspace - for which Murdoch paid 580 million dollars - on this page? 1 (this one).

over 6 years ago

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Ivor Tetteh-Lartey

Social networking sites are rapidly replacing traditional media and real person to person contact. It will be interesting to see to effects of this in the future.

over 6 years ago

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Seventy Nine PR

Very informative post. Just shows how much time we now spend on the internet.

over 6 years ago

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Suzanne Grala

I agree with Dennis Hollingworth and Tom Williams. The stats are useful only if we can measure ROI. We have to start somewhere and there are certainly some success stories from businesses who have used the platforms successfully to increase brand awareness, which has in turn led to an increase in sales.

It's got to be a little bit of good old fashioned 'speculate to accumulate', as businesses embrace social media as part of their marketing strategies. There's no avoiding the fact that social media is here to stay, and it gives businesses the opportunity of being able to listen to and then react to their customers in a much more interactive way than ever before.

Businesses need to be in control of 'it', and not the other way around!

over 6 years ago

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Dongan

Amazing! This gives us a push why/how Social Media will contribute towards the success of ecommerce development. Thanks.

over 6 years ago

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Common

Good interview. Interesting details on the things journalists can do to engage with readers. But I agree with mskoler's point that the culture of journalism will be the biggest barrier to doing this well. It Business Logo

over 6 years ago

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Kingsley Tagbo

I agree that Social media is one of the premier change factors in the marketing and communication industry.

The way we communicate has changed a lot during the last few years because of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter.

Facebook has become the largest social media site with its popularity growing tremendously in the last few years.

Recently Twitter has made headlines in every news site and blog with its phenomenal growth.

Your statistics confirms that these social media sites are changing the way we communicate and are making it more interesting for all of us.

over 6 years ago

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Becky

These numbers are unbelievable! I'm using them in a proposal, hope they are accurate ;) Since it was written six months ago, maybe you can do a follow-up post on what has changed since then. For example, I just read a tweet that said Twitter now has over 105m users. 

over 6 years ago

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star09

His guide explains why the government wants to keep this powerful technology out of the hands of consumers, even though it could have a substantial impact on the depletion of the Earth's natural resources.

over 6 years ago

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Robert

The average number of tweets per day was over 27.3 million. Social media marketing will be always difficults.

over 6 years ago

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Naji pro.

I am agree with billtownbill that,Sounds like we are inching ever closer to the precipice, can the trough of disillusionment be far off?

about 6 years ago

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Nigel Frith

I have two thoughts on these stats and a lot of social media stats. I think that social media stats under reflect true activity. We seem to forget about the now seemingly old fashioned "forums" there were billed a few years ago as the places to be for advertisers. Well forums have quietly gone about their business and although they are not what they used to be - they hardly ever get mentioned in the same breath as social media but in every sense of the word "social" forums are the original social platforms and they still account for tons of users. Secondly - I would love to see some stats on user cross-over. If we saw a venn diagram of modern social sites I suspect the cross over would be huge - the old paradigm of search has much less cross-over as users tend to stick with the short term user session of a "search query" whereas many users will have multiple social sites open in one session.

about 6 years ago

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joe

Thanks for this post. These are very interesting stats.

about 6 years ago

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Gail Clark

wow an abundance of factoids thanks

about 6 years ago

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Dennis

I wonder 10 years from now what level the social networking is going to take itself. I heard that there is a new networking site call "CramSocial" that is going to evolutionize the culture of social networking. It is suppose to be amazing and from what I heard in the way you interact with friends is AMAZING!!!!! 

about 6 years ago

Peter Jahn

Peter Jahn, Marketing Consultant

Great stats, and social media is immensely useful...for the right business. I'm fed up hearing about so called guru's (Twitter seems to be a guru-hive) professing that your business will sink without fully engaging in social media activities. I've seen an abundance of businesses (recently an 150 property management company) leaping onto this band wagen due to either poor advice (from 'guru') or of their own accord due to the hype surrounding social media. In the case of the propety management company they have a Facebook page which isn't particularly popular at all. The reason for this? Their target market don't use and have no interest in Facebook. Infact having a Facebook page probably cheapens their brand and the effect could even be detrimental to a degree.

Social media is big, it is powerful, and can be immensely useful but I wish businesses would take some care to decide which, if any, of these channels are actually useful and beneficial to their offering. And finally, all the social media in the world wont help make you money if the product you are offering is...well a bit shit. Social media should no longer be used for sales, social media should be used to engage.

about 6 years ago

Peter Jahn

Peter Jahn, Marketing Consultant

@dennis You wouldn't happen to be plugging this "evolutionary" website would you? You've illustrated the problem with social media these days, consumers got very savvy very quickly and are now able to see through transparant marketing attempts via the various mediums.

about 6 years ago

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the postmodern

These stats are really mindblowing! Thanks for sharing! Most of this usage is due to hype and conceived hepness. This will comedown as being on facebook or twitter will be normal.

almost 6 years ago

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Paul T

Initially I didn't think social media would be such a "difference changer" when it came to promoting a website. But now I see its word of mouth, just like in any other business. Thanks for pointing this out.

almost 6 years ago

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pleasure in the dreaming

I wonder 10 years from now what level the social networking is going to take itself. I heard that there is a new networking site call "CramSocial" that is going to evolutionize the culture of social networking. It is suppose to be amazing and from what I heard in the way you interact with friends is AMAZING!

almost 6 years ago

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tumbling zone

These numbers are unbelievable! I'm using them in a proposal, hope they are accurate ;) Since it was written six months ago, maybe you can do a follow-up post on what has changed since then. For example, I just read a tweet that said Twitter now has over 105m users. ...............thats all.........

almost 6 years ago

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healthytimesonline

Mind boggling. So many businesses get into social media, however, and only find that it takes up their time and doesn't lead to customers. These businesses need concrete strategies to market themselves.

almost 6 years ago

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Sara Mc Laughlin

Hello, 

I am doing a dissertation to investigate the effect of new media technology in sport on spectator interaction.  One of the aims of the study is to compare and contrast the views and attitudes of young and older people in relation to new media.  However, I need to decipher which age brackets to use, so I was wondering if I could get access to statistics in relation to what older age groups are less likely to be accustomed to new media. Put simply, I need to decide on an upper age bracket so I need to find out statistics to help with this.

I would be grateful if anyone could email me reagrding this and all help would be appreciated.

Regards

almost 6 years ago

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Nicholas

I still know some very influential corporate directors who insist Facebook is worthless, even in the face of these stats. Having made the statement it is too difficult to retract, and so the opportunities will pass by. 

I think Facebook could become an operating system in the end, along with Google microsoft need to watch out.

almost 6 years ago

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Drupal Kid

LOL Nicholas. the dinosaurs ruled for a long time, but social networks will move too quickly even if they do evolve.

Welcome to the new age of distributed communications.

almost 6 years ago

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El Parto

Even small copmanies are getting in on the trick our Spanish news site blossomed after we put  blogs on it. i wonder if you added all the small social networks together what sort of numbers you would get? It is enogh to leave the big guys redfaced I am sure.

Veronica

almost 6 years ago

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nepliz

"Flickr now hosts more than 4bn images. A massive jump from the previous 3.6bn I wrote about." - That's a treasure trove. The up and coming entrepreneurs should consider social media as their new domain.

almost 6 years ago

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Paul Tomlinson

I think that you'll find the trends will move even more towards the mobile applications and maybe offshoots of what we now call our laptops. I'm also thinking as this economy remains stagnant, more folks are going to be following some sort of job or workplace networking.

almost 6 years ago

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ranch presents

Ya , i agree with u . I think it gives some knowledge about social media. Even i didnt  know as much u say. Now only i have some idea about Social media.It is very nice. Thank u .

over 5 years ago

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Rich B

We began experimenting with social media in the B2B space around 6 months ago - its exciting to see where it will go as it continues to grow at an alarming rate!

Using Twitter only at the moment, I think its time to spread our wings!

over 5 years ago

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Mike

Amazing with these numbers more people don't cash in. Most people I know who use SM to make money are getting blanked!

over 5 years ago

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Mike

Hail to the Social Media Kings FB, Twitter - now please make your links do follow!

over 5 years ago

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Andy

These numbers are impressive, for the featured websites. For the average advertiser the competition might be even more impressive. These statistics tell us something about the success OF these websites but are no indication of advertising success ON these websites.

over 5 years ago

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Lynn Brown

Thanks Jake for sharing these very interesting stats. I knew that social media and networking was growing, but these stats show just how much it actually has. I am curious to ask if anyone has an opinion about a social media bubble. Seems we have experienced every bubble known, and still working through many of them, so wondering if you see anything brewing that might affect social media? I am hoping that it will only progress and get better, with more automation between the social sites.

over 5 years ago

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pro

This sounds interesting because social networking was the recent and emerging network and statistics here shows that people are becoming addicted to this. Statistics wil increase the publicity of the particular site.

over 5 years ago

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Social

These numbers are great. A big challenge that most businesses face is finding all of their prospects who may be on a dozen or much more social media sites or blogs.

over 5 years ago

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Andy

Great, Iagree with you.

over 5 years ago

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Ivana

Impressive stuff, Thanks Jake.

over 5 years ago

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Naomi

Cannot get my mind around it - but thanks Jake!

over 5 years ago

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Jake Eagle

The important things in life haven't changed. Individuality, spirituality, family...these are constants, so let Social Media expand infinitely - it doesn't change what is important.

over 5 years ago

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no1190

Alexander Graham Bell....look what you started!

over 5 years ago

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Tobi

I get a headache try to fathom this. We're a billion ants.

over 5 years ago

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Jake

Any guesses what the next big social media service will be? Been following some investor/tech sites and nothing jumps out as the next facebook/twitter.

over 5 years ago

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Benjamin

Social Media only works if your company is social. I always look at social media as how a class is behaving at elementary school. The popular kids are the popular people that are followed, liked and retweeted much. Why are the popular kids at school so popular? Nice toys, great looks, role model... etc.

Also, great tool if you want to know raw social stats of your website url: fbreach.com

over 5 years ago

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Alquiler Benalmadena

I have no more idea about Eco consultancy but I know that it will be very necessary to us if we want to keep our existence in this world and for that I am going to advertise it fondly to all.

over 5 years ago

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DIane

i give up trying to get it...

over 5 years ago

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Flour Mills

I always look at social media as how a class is behaving at elementary school. The popular kids are the popular people that are followed, liked and retweeted much. Why are the popular kids at school so popular?

about 5 years ago

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handmade jewelry

I love keeping in touch with friends via social media

about 5 years ago

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Holidays

Just makes you wonder if there is space for a new Social Media website and if so, what and how would it work?

about 5 years ago

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Web Development

There were social media sites before Facebook & Twitter, I think these both sites took the social media to the next level. I hardly know people around me who does not use any of these 2 sites.

about 5 years ago

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Zankhana Thakkar

Hey i really liked ur post...this facts inspired me to have my fashion website's social identity..thnks for sharing such useful info

about 5 years ago

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Holidays O

This makes me wonder why Cruise Critic hasn't changed its website much; they are big as a forum in the world of cruising. A little work and they can be big as a social network as well.

about 5 years ago

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sababhto

Much appreciation for this post. Truly fascinating and professionally composed post. Cheers once again - I will visit again.

about 5 years ago

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Abyooda

Nice statistics, i think that a website like facebook, its users doublesevery few month and that's the case in all successful blogs

about 4 years ago

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anak

nice analytic, you can mapping all of them into formula or conclution at the end

over 3 years ago

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Paid Clinical Trials, ceo at 33486

These numbers are impressive, for the featured websites. For the average advertiser the competition might be even more impressive. These statistics tell us something about the success OF these websites but are no indication of advertising success ON these websites.

over 2 years ago

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