Social networks trump adult sites

Bambi Francisco Roizen · January 28, 2009 · Short URL:

Frankly, I'm surprised it took this long

 Years ago, I said that social networks would beat online dating sites at its own game. Social networks are, after all, a place to meet new friends, or err, find dates. It's true that social networks are replacing dating sites for some, but not for all. Just look at Facebook, with 1 out of every 5 people in the world, going onto the site each month.

Now, these social network sites appear to be more popular than adult Web sites, if traffic is any measure. In October 2008, social networks and forums overtook adult Web sites, according to HitWise. They've remained ahead ever since. 


Hitwise created the stats for the BBC, whose report also pointed out -- what seems pretty obviuos -- that adult sites are more popular with males, while social networks are largely visited by females. 

According to Robin Goad, research director at hitwise, social networks in the U.S. first overtook adult sites in mid-2007, but have since been battling it out with no clear winner.

A quick search across the Web reveals a lot of distasteful shots once relegated to adult magazines. With so much available online, and particularly on social networks, it's a surprise it took this long for those social forums to surpass adult sites in traffic. 

My guess is that social networks compete with adult sites because transparency in every way is widely accepted at social networks. Of course, most mainstream sites don't allow full nude shots. But some members upload photos that come pretty close to it.

(Image source: Pingostudio)


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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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