November 03, 2008 |
A pretty interesting piece of news from comScore has just landed in my inbox. Today the web measuring company released the data on the top online properties in the UK in September and the results are partly predictable and partly rather unexpected.
The predictable part is about financial websites growing rapidly due to the world economic crisis. This is true everywhere and this is exactly why money-related websites seem to be flourishing these days. Besides, UK citizens seemed to be interested in the presidential campaign in the US and increased visits to various political news websites as well.
The second part is quite surprising to me personally. It relates to the preferred social network of the day – Facebook. The thing is that Facebook has very different positions in different countries depending on how much people are accustomed to using MySpace in these countries and on how willing they are to move elsewhere for their social networking needs. Another important thing is popularity of local social networks and websites with some of them doing pretty good locally preventing the international social networking giants from reaching the top positions.
Yet there is an interesting fact in the comScore’s report today: Facebook has pushed BBC sites out of the list of top 5 web properties in the UK and secured the fifth position in the list for itself with 18.4 million visitors in September. This is the first time in the social network’s history that it has reached the position among the top 5 most popular web properties in the UK.
This fact is even more surprising given that people have been consuming even more news online than usually looking for information about the financial turmoil in the world – and a group of sites relying on news for content heavily losing popularity to a social network is even more intriguing in this case.
Besides, if there is a media brand deeply associated with the UK, it is definitely the BBC. BBC is such a recognized national brand for the UK that I thought that it must be extremely difficult for anyone to compete with the media company in the country.
Yet the fact remains: social networking is obviously a huge trend in the UK if Facebook has managed to displace the BBC websites from their prominent 5th position among the most popular websites in the country. But to me these preferences and behavior of the internet users in the UK is somewhat disturbing as there must be certain unshakable values in every country that must reflect the level of love of the citizens to their country. I personally feel somewhat concerned about this as I think it is crucial that some national values remain – no matter what social network is growing popularity in the world on any given day.