24 July 2007

The Facebook Phenomenon

Toronto network falls to No. 2 on Facebook pecking order
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 | 11:01 AM ET
CBC News
The city of Toronto was knocked off its perch as the top regional network on the website Facebook, with membership from the city of London, England surpassing Canada's largest city some time in the past week.

According to Tuesday morning statistics from the popular social networking website, over 813,000 Londoners have signed up on Facebook and joined the regional network, passing Toronto's membership of over 706,000 users.

Facebook allows users to create a personal profile and interact with others who have done the same. And unlike News Corp.'s MySpace, the most popular social networking site, Facebook allows a measure of privacy by only allowing those people the user has identified as "friends" to be able to see their full profiles.

The site, formerly restricted to college students, has seen an explosion in membership since it opened its registration to all users last fall. And while it still lags MySpace in the United States, the site has become increasingly popular in Canada.

The Vancouver network, for example, has over 350,000 members, more than New York City's network of close to 290,000 users, while Calgary's 201,000 plus membership is larger than Los Angeles's roughly 155,000 members.

Network membership on Facebook doesn't necessarily equal actual membership statistics for a particular city. Users from a city do not have to join the network for that particular city and are free to join another city's network, or none at all.

But Facebook's popularity in Canada is real, according to ComScore Media Matrix, which said in June 2007 that 11.4 million Canadians were logged on to Facebook.

The site's popularity has made it controversial in Canada, with the province of Ontario and the City of Toronto banning public workers from using the website while on the job.

Screw MySpace. Facebook is where it's at. Much more personable and intimate. A good way to forge new friendships and enhance existing ones!

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