YouTube vs. MySpace, Facebook: Clip culture vs. friendship

YouTube’s Chad Hurley is proud of the site’s “clip culture.” In “YouTube’s 100 million videos: quantity vs.
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor

YouTube’s Chad Hurley is proud of the site’s “clip culture.” In “YouTube’s 100 million videos: quantity vs. quality” I cite YouTube’s “snack-sized” philosophy:

We are not trying to stream full-length programming. We have developed a new clip culture. The site specializes in short—typically 2-minute—homemade, comic videos created by users. YouTube serves as a quick entertainment break

I asked:

What is the quality of YouTube’s snack-sized video content, however, and what is the value of YouTube’s “quick entertainment break” audience?

Fellow ZDNet blogger Richard MacManus points to YouTube vs. MySpace traffic data, estimations put together by a firm, Compete, which says it tracks the Web visits of its pool of 2 million Web users, then applies “projection factors” to estimate the number of people in the United States that visit any given website each month.

Regardless of the validity, or not, of Web site traffic data estimated by Compete, its comparative analysis of YouTube vs. MySpace is a narrow one and does not consider “quality vs. quantity.”

“YouTube may be the fastest growing website ever!” as estimated by Compete, but MySpace and Facebook value a fulfilling growth over snack-sized growth.

MySpace and Facebook have “friendship” networks at their core which makes them inherently engaging and viral. In “MySpace vs. Facebook: Is friendship real?” I discuss the importance of “friendship” to the social networking model:

Rupert Murdoch’s MySpace is as friendly as it was from day one: Tom Anderson is STILL everyone’s friend, even though some of the 100 million MySpacers are venturing to declare “Tom is not my friend.” Facebook, on the other hand, hopes it is on the high ground by requiring claims of friendship be confirmed and validated among its 10 million Facebookers.

Are MySpace’s commoditization of friendship and Facebook’s codification of friendship opposing social networking philosophies and operating principles?

While MySpace and Facebook may define “friendship” differently, both social networking sites rely on the notion of “friendship” to grow usage and user engagement at their sites, and both are succeeding.

In my recent interview of Melanie Deitch, Director of Marketing, Facebook, I cite Facebook usage and engagement statistics (see “Facebook talks ‘The Real Deal’ in exclusive interview”):

Over half of the user base comes back every day, spending on average 16 minutes or more each time.

In my recent interview of Ross Levinsohn, President, Fox Interactive Media , I cite MySpace usage and engagement statistics (see “FIM Ross Levinsohn on MySpace in ‘Real Deal’ exclusive interview”).

We have 50-60 million uniques in the U.S., with 500-600 page views per person monthly. Older people will engage less, but 200-300 page views is still a lot.

How does YouTube stack up in terms of usage and engagement? In “From Google speak to YouTube Speak,” I cite Fortune magazine on YouTube’s non-transparency: 

First as a private company and now as an arm of a public company, YouTube enjoys the luxury of reporting only the statistics it chooses to… 

how many YouTube videos are being viewed on a daily basis. On Feb. 27, when Fortune's Oliver Ryan spoke to the company, it was 25 million. By the time I met with Hurley and Chen in their San Mateo, Calif., loft office in mid-April it was 40 million. By June, the number had grown to "more than 100 million." Today? "We're sticking with the hundred-million number for now," says Supan. "We'll wait for the next big milestone." At that, Chen chimes in "Which is one billion," to hearty laughter all around.

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