Morgan Stanley: Social Applications Are the Hottest Trend

By Nick O'Neill Comment

Mike Arrington has just posted some new information released by Morgan Stanley regarding internet trends. The report, which is embedded below, states that the current trends online are the widgetization of content, social networking and monetization. One of the most impressive charts is of an Alexa page view comparison among,, and According to the chart Yahoo is losing substantial ground to YouTube and Facebook.

In comparing the top ranked sites between 2005 and 2008, there has been a substantial shift and now social websites make up the majority of the top 10, accounting for a whopping 7 out of 10 websites.,, and are the leaders and I would argue that may soon rank up there with given their dominance in social photos and social videos.

Another interesting statistic was that for users aged 17 and up the internet and personal sources ranked higher than television, radio and newspaper as for sources of information. Morgan Stanley suggests that this trend toward source of information accounts for the massive growth in social networks. The presentation also dives into how Facebook is experiencing insane growth and how the top application developers are faring.

One thing that the Morgan Stanley report attempts to explain is why Facebook is growing faster than MySpace. Their conclusion? Facebook has:

  • Less intrusive ads
  • A personalized newsfeed (which Myspace has recently added as well)
  • A cleaner User Interface
  • A more prominent friends section – I never thought about this but having a prominent friends section definitely makes a substantial difference. It’s one of the first places I look when viewing a user’s profile.
  • A personalized ad platform – The Morgan Stanley report suggests that the Facebook pages are the “personalized ad platform” … I’m not so sure about this one
  • Presence on mobile phones

Facebook accounted to almost 10 percent of the report, emphasizing the significance of the rapidly growing social network site. The report also points to major media integration with social sites including Facebook and YouTube. Rather than having the internet, television and mobile being competitive platforms, the report suggests that they are actually complimentary. This is definitely an interesting finding.

Overall, the report was amazingly optimistic on online advertising growth. Some of the numbers are surprising and makes me realize how hard it is to comprehend the significance of such rapid growth. Case and point: there are over 791 million internet users and close to 60 billion hours being spent online globally. Check out the presentation below for more information.