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Bebo leads against MySpace


Hitwise NZ Social Networking Update

Bebo leads against MySpace

Auckland, May 23, 2006. According to Hitwise, the world’s leading online competitive intelligence service, New Zealand Internet users prefer the social networking website, Bebo (www.bebo.com) over MySpace, which was acquired by News Corporation last year for $580 million.

Website visits to Bebo overtook MySpace week ending April 22, 2006 in the Hitwise Net Communities and Chat category, and has since climbed to hold over 10% of visits for the week ending May 20, 2006. Hitwise Search Intelligence indicates that ‘bebo’ is a leading search term amongst NZ web surfers, featuring 19th amongst all Internet searches, compared to 124th position for ‘myspace’, 24 weeks ending May 20, 2006.

Bebo has effectively leveraged email marketing to increase its membership base. MSN Hotmail (www.hotmail.com) contributed 40.1% of upstream traffic for the week ending May 20, 2006. Prior to a substantial increase in visits to Bebo in March 2006, MSN Hotmail accounted for over half of Bebo’s traffic, week ending March 4, 2006.

A core function that Bebo offers is the ability for users to stay in touch with school friends. While Bebo is based in the US, Kiwis have shown a preference to Bebo over local social networking sites for maintaining friendships. Indeed, local websites in the Net Community category attracted only 13.3% of visits for the week ending May 20, 2006. Trade Me’s Oldfriends.co.nz ranked at 8th position with 2.3% market share.

Social networking websites account for a significant portion of online activity by New Zealand Internet users, with 4.7% of all visits week ending May 20, 2006. Bebo looks set to increase its online influence, now ranking within the Top 20 websites in all categories. Bebo furthermore ranked as the 6th most popular website visited prior to Google NZ (www.google.co.nz), contributing 1.25% of its upstream traffic.

Ends

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