Update, March 20, 2008: Joining Dots took the data presented below and put it in graph form, along with further analysis. See the entry Social Networks Long Tail.
Recent research from the web analytics firm Compete turns up some interesting information about the popularity of various social networking sites. Compete’s comparison of social networking traffic from February 2008 and February 2007 shows dramatic growth in up-and-comers like Ning (4803% change) and Twitter (4368%). LinkedIn also experienced a hefty spike in usage (729%). (Click image for the chart showing comparisons by social network.)
Meanwhile, MySpace is still the top social network, but usage actually decreased by 1 percent. Facebook, the No. 2 social network, grew by 77 percent between February 2007 and February 2008, an indication that Facebook’s popularity may be leveling off (as previously suggested on this very blog).
(Hat tip to Jonathan’s blog.)