Zeta Interactive, a digital marketing agency, recently released its annual rankings of social networks. They are categorized by “buzz,” a ranking calculated by volume and tone (percent positive ranking) of all the sites. This year, Twitter topped the list followed by LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook. Google+ did not make the top 10, partially due to its June launch—data starting from January 2011 was used to calculate the scores.
Minna Rhee, CEO of Zeta Interactive, declared 2011 “the year of Twitter,” and told Mashable, “For culture, breaking news and celebrities it is the social network.” Indeed, among the social networks, Twitter is the go-to for breaking news, and also has generated a lot of hype for its role in protests around the world. Combined with the sheer amount of mentions it gets from other websites, it jumped up two places from last year’s rankings. Facebook, which is much larger in terms of number of users, had the most negative buzz among the top 10 (although their negative buzz decreased compared to last year).
New to the list are Friendster, the social gaming site, Ning, the custom social network platform, and Meetup, which brings social networking back to localized meatspace. Interestingly, Bill Bishop who covers digital media in China, commented on Mashable, “no mention of Sina Weibo. #oneworldtwointernets.” As of May, Sina Weibo (pronounced “way-bwuh”), the “Chinese Twitter,” had eight times more users than their U.S. counterpart, and launched an English mobile interface earlier this fall. They also announced plans for an English version of the website, but gave no specific release date. It has over 450,000 users in the U.S., which according to the Wall Street Journal includes Tom Cruise, Bill Gates, and San Francisco mayor Ed Lee.
2011 was certainly big year for Twitter, but the Internet will continue to evolve globally and new players will rise and enter the English-speaking market. What do you think? Was Twitter your social network of the year?