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2009 Internet Usage by the Numbers

Royal Pingdom has a recap of 2009 web usage by the numbers. There are several nuggets - but here are a few that really stand out:

350 million – People on Facebook. 50% – Percentage of Facebook users that log in every day. 4 billion – Photos hosted by Flickr (October 2009). 2.5 billion – Photos uploaded each month to Facebook.

1 billion – The total number of videos YouTube serves in one day. 182 – The number of online videos the average Internet user watches in a month (USA).

247 billion – Average number of email messages per day. 81% – The percentage of emails that were spam. So: ~40b non-spam emails messages per day. YouTube alone serves 1b videos per day... amazing

iPhone is Flickr's #1 Camera; Soon to be Facebook's #1 Video

Mashable is reporting tonight that the iPhone is set to replace the Canon Rebel XTi as the #1 source of photographs on Flickr:

That smartphone, with its weak 2 MP camera and its lack of zoom, is now set to overtake Canon Rebel XTi as the #1 camera on Flickr. This is according to Flickr’s Camera Finder graphs. Actually, as the LA Times has already caught, the iPhone has already passed the Rebel XTi on a few occasions as the two duke it out for the top spot.

flickr-stats This shouldn't come as a surprise (price differential, convenience and ease of mobile uploading) - but it is noteworthy. As an owner of both the iPhone 3GS and the Canon Rebel - I can say that I too have found myself opting for convenience and mobility over artistic and picture quality.

As we all await Facebook's new iPhone App (which is setting in Apple's approval queue and enables mobile video uploads), we should expect the iPhone to quickly become the #1 source of video on Facebook - which is currently the tenth largest video provider on the web. It will be interesting to see just how much activity the iPhone / video integration produces and whether it is enough to advance Facebook beyond #10 (#9 AOL is 50% larger and #8 Hulu is over 2x).

Facebook Photo's Remarkable Growth - Did iPhone App Play a Role?

According to ComScore (and via TechCrunch), Facebook Photos is running away from the nearest competitors: Photobucket, Flickr and Picasa (in that order).

Facebook has been the space's leader for over a year, but the gap has widened and really started to open in September 2008. TechCrunch suggests that it is due to the profile redesign:

"But the tagging feature has been part of Facebook Photos for a long time. What happened in September to accelerate growth? That is when a Facebook redesign went into effect which added a Photos tab on everyone’s personal homepage."

How about two other additions to why the marked growth is occurring (although I totally agree that the timing is due to the profile redesign):

1. The iPhone App is one of the most popular and addictive. And it makes photo taking / sharing dead easy. In fact, it is easier to upload a photo than to enter your 'status update.' Based on my network's feed - photo usage via the App has grown significantly.

2. Switching cost: once you begin to upload photos onto Facebook, it becomes difficult to move them elsewhere or start uploading elsewhere. The switching costs are high and there are network effects. As Facebook grows (and it is everywhere now), there is less of a reason to share via print sites like oFoto / Kodak, Picasa, Shutterfly and so forth.

Should Facebook Acquire FriendFeed, Twitter and/or Digg?

Over the last few years - in *numerous* settings - I have heard different variations of the following: “Why should we build it internally when we can let it be proven elsewhere… and either build or acquire then?” This logic makes sense if you: 1) have the resources and manpower to build and/or integrate the product 2) have enough users that you can either catch up to competitors or accelerate an acquired company

I’ve thought a lot about this as Twitter and FriendFeed continue to grow and as Facebook has begun to experience declining traffic. My personal feeling is that, as products and consumer services, Twitter nor FriendFeed should really exist on their own; rather, they are products (pun intended) of Facebook’s oversight. Think about it – Twitter and FriendFeed are more powerful, distributed versions of the social feed.

And as Facebook’s traffic begins to decline, it’s increasingly obvious that they are taking note of this new generation of social interaction. Just yesterday, Facebook expanded their Feed product (making an obvious push into FriendFeed’s territory) and they are including more and more native profile enhancements (seemingly) modeled after utilities and applications built by 3rd parties and proven successful by the community.

What will become interesting is whether Facebook is able to push either Twitter or FriendFeed aside (or the next upcomer) … and with their massive user-base, that is a real possibility. Or, will Facebook become a web 2.0 acquirer (like Yahoo, Google and eBay)? Acquired web 2.0 sites like Delicious, StumbleUpon, and Flickr - and potential targets like Digg, Twitter and FriendFeed – might make a lot of sense to Facebook (and help invigorate their site usage).

Relevant reading: Techmeme's top few headlines are all about FriendFeed today

New SocialFeed Widget (...Your FriendFeed Widget-ized)

Yesterday Scoble unveiled his new blog theme and the resounding feedback among the 150+ comments was positive... and how'd he create that FriendFeed widget? For those web 2.0 users, Widgetbox has a new widget that aggregates your social content - we're calling it the SocialFeed Widget. The widget is completely configurable.

Configurations - set the widget's size - choose the theme (currently 6 available) - select your web 2.0 sites and input your username (Flickr,, Pownce, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube, Digg and Delicious) - set your font size and feed size - input your widget's header and name

Of course you can create your own SocialFeed and embed it within your blog's sidebar as a promotional tool and traffic driver... or you can configure your SocialFeed to showcase content from popular power-users (like Jason Calacanis, Robert Scoble, etc).

YouTube RickRolls April Fools In

In general, I don't understand why April Fools jokes on the internet have begun on March 31st - but apparently that's now standard. I also struggle with April Fools internet 'jokes' because they are mostly just made up stories (easy to do - though cleverness is clearly difficult) - but that's what makes YouTubes 'prank' so great: they actively made a product change and, in doing so, poked fun at themselves. YouTube RickRoll'd their users and their videos - linking all their featured videos to that classic 80s music video.

It's debatable who's career was resurrected more by web 2.0: Chuck Norris or Rick Astley.

If you don't know what a RickRoll is, here is a great example. Yesterday's #1 story on Digg was titled "Lala (Tiki Bar) Showers Video", raked in nearly 7,000 diggs and linked to this video:


Some guy RickRolling his class:

Digg Really is Powered by the Top 50 Users

Digg can be described as an ecosystem for news readers and contributors. That ecosystem is usually thought to be both wide and deep. But below is snapshot of just how critical (and influential) the top 50 users are to it - the icons with a yellow banner / star in it are from my Digg friends (all top 50 users). See a trend? A close friend of mine ran a test on Digg by befriending the top 100 Digg users. His first 3 submissions made the front page within their respective category… He had submitted 100s of articles before and this was a first. As the power users move - so do the herds.

This raises the questions, what happens if the rumored Microsoft acquisition actually happened? Does Digg work if it’s top 50 / 100 users flee? Flickr had similar questions when MS announced their Yahoo bid… I would argue though that Flickr’s value is more sustainable without its core users than Digg’s is.

Digg Top Users