Multi-site holder FriendFinder Networks breaks down its social media revenue across its brands. Relationship-finding sites make hardly any money, hook up sites bring in most of the cash.

Social Networks Making Money on Singles - More For Adult Sites Than General Audience

Big social media networks like Facebook and Twitter tend to get the most front page space, but there are usage trends of interest lurking in other areas of the social Web. FriendFinder Networks, operator of several dating network sites as well as owner of Penthouse magazine tracked where members spend money on their sites. 

FFN owns 22 brands that target certain subsets of the population - seventeen are aimed at general audiences, in a G-rating sense. Across the Web sites, 445 million registrants have signed on, with large numbers visiting gradFinder,, and SeniorFriendFinder. 

In numbers, most of the top-ranked were these relationship-seeker sites, with (53K registrants), AsiaFriendFinder (45K) and (17K) all with larger numbers than their kinky and hook-up sites, counted cumulatively since launched. But the highest of all on the list is, which trumps them all with nearly 224 thousand registrants. For context, this Web site uses the word "friend" in a casual encounter way.

This skew continues when revenue is analyzed across these brands. FFN's total sales in the first quarter of 2011 came to $83 million, with $55 million of this coming from their adult social networking Web sites - AFF,, Get It On, Out Personals, and Only $3 million came from their general audience businesses. "Sex sells" is more than just a cliché - its an easily quantifiable revenue source, in this case. According to analysis on BNET, per user on average, a member on adult sites paid $16.43 in Q1, a G-rated user only paid seven cents. FFN also explains that G-rated customer revenue is in "disproportionate decline" to the rest of the business.

By Ivory King