Many of us have given though to the phenomenon of what makes social networking web sites so popular. You will find users acquiring virtual network of friends as the most important thing in their real social life. For those who con

sider these virtual friendships as meaningless, they simply log into Facebook to share photos and stories with their dear friends and relatives away from home. There are others using these web sites as a common every day communication tool. Atelier was at the Mashup2007 conference in San Francisco when Ashley Qualls, President of, explained that she “leaves posts on her MySpace friends’ wall every single day instead of e-mailing them”.   Many people compare Facebook to MySpace, finding Facebook to be the “MySpace for grown-up”. Facebook used to only allow college, university and business related e-mail addresses to register. On September 11, 2006 that changed, and they opened up registration to everyone with a valid e-mail address.   What are the main differences in the use of these two social networking web sites?   On Facebook, people who join your “network of friends” are usually also your friends in the real life. Whereas on MySpace, a network of friends can be defined as real friends, acquaintances and people incompletely unknown. For example, you can see that 522,432 MySpace users are on TV character Borat’s network of friends. Thus, one of the real challenges on MySpace is to have a less number of “friends” in your own network. TV character Borat's MySpace network of friends  On MySpace, you can customize your page with your favorite songs, stars, and glitter at your convenience. It is a place where to promote yourself. On Facebook, the interface is displayed the same for everyone whether you are in 12th grade or a Rock Star. A random page on MySpace Customization on MySpace is a real business for designers, with hundreds of web sites offering layouts and codes for a few bucks. WhateverLife, Inc is perfect example of a successful company created in 2004 by a teenager that provides layouts, graphics and tutorials, in addition to other MySpace services. That could have been about it, but the Facebook Platform was created two months ago allowing anyone to generate applications that interact with core Facebook features. So far, 1700 different applications have been developed.  You need to be ready to see applications popping-up on a lot of your friends’ page, just like MySpace. Facebook Platform web site home page   Even though “Facebooking” has been hype in the news for months, it is not the only networking web site on the Internet. 23-year-old CEO Mark Zuckerberg has serious competitors ahead of him beside MySpace, such as Orkut, Hi5, Xanga,, and Bebo just to name a few. Not to forget Friendster right behind Facebook with only less 6 million users.   In an upcoming article, Atelier will go in details of the business side of Facebook. Are those IPO rumors legitimate? How much is worth Facebook? Will Facebook be the leading networking web site of the world? Why is Facebook facing a serious lawsuit? Keep reading us.   Mathieu Ramage, Anton Bastien   E-mail the author