Many lately have been predicting the fall of Hi5, the third largest social netowrking site (after MySpace & Facebook) Does Hi5 have what it takes to co-exist with the big boys? Lets take a closer look...
The Market Share
As you can see from the graph below, Hi5 may be in the top three, but it's a distant third. In fact, in recent months their unique visotor counts seem to have been in a downward trend while MySpace and Facebook have been gaining market share at a rapid pace.
The one thing that has historically kept Hi5 from being more popular in the United States may be it's one saving grace. Lets take a look at the user demographics for the top three sites...see anything unusual about Hi5?
Thats right, Hi5 has the dominant position in every category except "Caucasian". The one that especially stands out is "Hispanic". Hi5 has over 10 times the market share in the Hispanic community than Facebook, and nearly 5 times that of MySpace! Right now Facebook and MySpace might be hot in the USA and UK, but eventually their growth will slow in those areas. If Hi5 can leverage their current user base to expand further into non-english speaking markets, they could quickly become a formidable contender to MySpace and Facebook.
The Conclusion: Is There Room For All Three?
Some things are hot in one area of the world and don't catch on quite as well in others. Look at the game "Lineage". One of the hottest Multiplayer MMO games in the world, with a subscriber base of over 1 million, but almost all of them in Korea. Even the American juggernaut "World of Warcraft", isn't able to penetrate the Korean market with the same success they had in the USA.
Just like there is room for a McDonalds, Wendys, Taco Bell, etc. on every corner, there is room for multiple "flavors" of Social Networking sites. The one that fails will most likely be the one that tries to be all things to all people.