Facebook catches MySpace as 6 million usernames get snapped up

June 15, 2009

Facebook catches MySpace as six million usernames get snapped upIt’s fair to say Facebook is having a good week. This past weekend saw the social networking site roll out its new vanity URLs or usernames, and 6 million people have now claimed theirs. But bigger than that is the news that after years of playing catch-up, Facebook has overtaken MySpace for unique visitors in the U.S. Mark Zuckerberg must be smiling from ear to ear.

MySpace was the first hugely popular social network, and seemingly everyone had an account at one point in time. Then along came Facebook, a much superior, better organized, more user-friendly, and less garish alternative. And most of us switched at the earliest opportunity.

MySpace has managed to maintain its levels of traffic quite well despite the buzz and attention all having shifted to Facebook and Twitter over the past couple of years. Facebook, on the other hand, has been steadily growing, and last June saw it overtake MySpace in worldwide traffic. The number one spot in the U.S. remained elusive, until now.

TechCrunch reports on the May traffic data from comScore which shows Facebook drawing level and then slightly overtaking MySpace in the United States. For the month, Facebook managed 70.278 million unique visitors compared to MySpace’s 70.255 million. There may not be much in it, but it’s a huge PR victory for Zuckerberg and co.

I very much doubt whether MySpace can claw its way back from here. I personally gave up on the site a long time ago and now use a combination of Facebook and Twitter (occasionally) for my social networking needs. That is, of course, until the next big thing comes along and takes us away from Twitter and Facebook.

But for now, the day belongs to Facebook. Even the new vanity URLs seem to be popular, with Inside Facebook claiming six million have been taken after just three days, an increase from the 500,000 who snapped up their chosen moniker in the first 15 minutes after the midnight launch on Saturday (June 13).

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