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Whaddyareckon?: MySpace vs. Facebook

Will MySpace crash and burn as its followers de-friend the ubiquitous Tom and flock to Facebook? Or does the social networking behemoth have staying power beyond its novelty value? We hit the streets and asked people if they're sticking with MySpace.

Though its image is tarnished by the presence of bulletin spam, tales of hacked accounts and glittery graphics that cause permanent corneal trauma, MySpace continues to reign supreme when it comes to sheer number of visitors.

Stats released by Nielsen//NetRatings this week show that 2.75 million Australians -- or one in five Internet users -- visited the site in May 2007.

The Murdoch-owned mega site may still be pulling in the punters, but another contender for the social network crown has enjoyed a stratospheric rise of late: Facebook. In six months, Facebook has gone from attracting 31,000 unique visitors per month to 287,000 (as measured by Nielsen//NetRatings from November 2006 to May 2007).

Sure, this may be one-tenth the size of MySpace's audience, but the swiftness of Facebook's ascension is still remarkable. With its news feed, cleaner layouts and profile-viewing restrictions (you need to be on the same location-, school- or work-based network as someone else to see their page), Facebook has carved out a niche as a more grown-up, refined version of MySpace.

So will MySpace crash and burn as its followers de-friend the ubiquitous Tom and flock to Facebook? Or does the social networking behemoth have staying power beyond its novelty value? We hit the streets and asked people if they're sticking with MySpace.

If you've bailed on MySpace and fallen into the comforting indigo embrace of Facebook, check out our Whaddyareckon? Facebook group, where you can suggest topics for future shows.