Of course Facebook isn’t facing demise. That would be ridiculous. But for the first time since their launch their audience number in the UK has dropped. While they’re still hitting a staggering 8.5m unique visitors a month, this might be the first sign that there might be a saturation of the market. I know I’m certainly finding it difficult to stay on top of everything (4 email addresses, a blog, 2 social networks plus some business networks and a bunch of casual forum memberships). I’ll be deleting my Myspace account shortly (I never use it and find it so clunky in comparison with Facebook) because I just seem to be the target for being a new friend of millions of bands. But despite us reaching this stage there seem to be more and more social networks every day, with platforms such as Ning.com offering everyone the chance to build their very own networks for free.

So, what’s the future? Either people will retreat to ever more specialised networks according to their personal interests, or more sites such as Moli.com will spring up. Moli allows you to manage profiles on various social networking sites from one place. Sounds like a dream for those network addicts. But as far as I’m concerned, I’m looking for a little simplification in my life. Shame I’m a sucker for signing up and trying uot every new site, app, service and technology!

It’s worth noting that despite my moderate predictions of doom and gloom AOL (a branch of the Time Warner juggernaut) has got into the social networking game by spending $850m on Bebo. Not a bad deal for the 3rd biggest social networking site in the US (after Facebook and Myspace), especially when Microsoft would only have got about 10 percent of Facebook for that when they invested in a small 1.6 percent stake last year. But Youtube sits at the top of this tree. It’s latest figures show it as the world’s most popular social media site , with a massive 10.4 million visitors in January alone.

2008 Rank….Website…………Unique audience (m)
1……………YouTube……………..10.4
2……………Wikipedia……………9.6
3……………Facebook…………….8.5
4……………Blogger……………..5.1
5……………MySpace……………..5.0
6……………Bebo………………..4.1
7……………Slide……………….3.4
8……………Yahoo! Answers……….3.3
9……………Windows Live Spaces…..3.1
10…………..TripAdvisor………….2.4

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