300+ social network startups in less then 2 years.

Seems every day now you hear about another social network startup.   From what people in the industry have been telling me there are between  300 and 400 new social networking/dating startups in the last 2 years.     Only 4 or 5 of those sites will be around in another 4 or 5 years.

In the last week alone  I’ve seen a bunch of free dating sites/social networking hybrids.    Paird.com, engage.com and justsayhi.com.   Of course none of these sites stand any chance of success.    The reason is very simple,  there is a 30% turn over per month for online dating sites.    Social networking sites don’t have a high turn over,  if you sign up a million people in a year on something like facebook,  you have  800,000 active users at the end of the year.   If you sign up a million users on a dating site in 12 months  you have 80,000 active users at the end of the year if you are lucky.

Myspace recently commented that one of their fastest growing segments was ages 35+,  these users are signing up in the millions and in the process the core dating demographic is leaving dating sites.    I notice this in a big way on my site,  competing against social networking is very very hard.   Users used to sign up to a dating site,  leave after 3 months and then come back 5 months later to do it agian.   Now users sign up to social networking sites and when they are single again they start dating people off the social network and don’t make the effort to sign up to a dating site again.

So what does the future hold?  A lot of carnage,  a  good  250 startups in the social networking/dating space going bellyup in the next 2-3 years.

58 Responses to “300+ social network startups in less then 2 years.”

  1. Tom Says:

    It is really interesting to see what is going to happen down the road.

  2. Josh Says:

    I totally agree, the industry would be completely flushed out.

  3. darrat Says:

    Really good points Markus.
    It’s interesting that the “older” group are heading towards MySpace. Lets face it – it is hardly the environment for them.
    I guess the big rush is to create the “MySpace” for the mature sector.

  4. Ajay Says:

    As you say, you’re feeling the heat yourself. What do you intend to do about it?

  5. Simplicity Rules » Blog Archive » The end of social networks Says:

    […] Markus Frind, who runs a successful dating site, is usually pretty contrarian. So, it’s no surprise to see he says most social networks will fail. […]

  6. Vlad Says:

    It’s a recurring phenomenon. A couple of guys start it, hundreds, if not thousands of others try to jump on the same bandwagon and fail miserably in the process. Just as you pointed out, dating is a tough market to turn over your traffic. They all come back, but it takes time. Key is to establishing a social network that retains members, which is precisely what FB achieved.

  7. Michael Webster Says:

    I am missing the math here: if each period you retain only 70% and start with 1 million, then after 12 period you have .7**12*10**6, which is about 3/16ths of 80,000.

  8. Markus Says:

    Michael, you signup 1 million over a period of 12 months. So at month 13 you are left with ~80k- 160k

  9. DateYard blog » Blog Archive » As seen on… Says:

    […] Just saw on Paradigm shift, the very own blog of Markus Frind, one of the most successful (or probably THE most successful single person) pals in the dating site universe that there are between 300 and 400 new social netowrk startups in the last couple of years. So I had a look at the mentioned sites. Tell you right, I never exactly understood the american way of doing things. And it seems some of the most successful americans don’t get it too. According to this book, I am currently reading. Now let me take a second to explain what I am after. I am about all the buzz created by some company about a product that ain’t worth it. Do you remember the dotcom buzz and how it blew up a few yars ago? It’s pretty much the same everywhere – people with not-so-ingenious idea find investors to put some millions in it and then get it all messed up. What bothers me most are those millions. For Christ sake, we are talking about 8 digit numbers here, most of all spent in advertising of a service that’s not worth it and on top of that, hiring well-known managers that cost 6 figures an year. No, really, I don’t get it. Let me tell you how much money are spend on DateYard’s marketing campaign. ZERO. It’s entirely done by means that don’t cost a dime. And before you ask – none of them includes even the slightest bit of spam. We are the good guys, remember? So what’s that 7-8 figure buzz about? I don’t know. Well, of course DateYard is not featured on abc news, The Wall Street Journal or CNN, as engage.com claims, but who gives a shit about it anyway? Do these ventures actually pay for these invesments? I really doubt so. So in the end someone will definitelly eat the crap. Featuring a site on a famous news channel or similar place is not something you should be proud of – as long as you have the money to pay for it, you are in the game. But the trick, ladies and gentlemen, is not to make people talk about you relying on a huge amount of money. The trick is to make them do so because your service really makes difference. […]

  10. Ajay Says:

    Want to know the real value of social networks? Read this: http://www.thehealthcareblog.com/the_health_care_blog/2006/07/techqualityphys.html

  11. I “Web 2.0 ‘exit strategy’” badge | Central Scrutinizer - [ il web in 287 comode rate ] Says:

    […] Tra circa un mese e mezzo si svolgerà a San Francisco la terza conferenza dedicata al Web 2.0, un luogo favorevole ad una discussione, in termini pragmatici, sull’esistenza o meno di una “Bolla 2.0“. Con l’affermazione definitiva di blog, podcast, wiki, video e photo sharing, social bookmarking e tutti gli altri strumenti che valorizzano il singolo utente come una parte ‘attiva’ della rete, la continua creazione-condivisione-fruizione di contenuti viaggia ad un ritmo elevato come la crescita del numero di servizi che la supportano. Come ai tempi della ‘new economy’, infatti, ogni settimana nascono decine di startup (più di 300 negli ultimi due anni, e Go Web 2.0 e Categoriz ne danno dimostrazione) pronte a richiamare l’attenzione degli utenti su di un servizio innovativo, e storie di successo da copertina e acquisizioni miliardarie non fanno che aumentare la portata del nuovo boom: rispetto a cinque anni fa, inoltre, i costi per l’hardware e software sono nettamente inferiori, e il servizio offerto stavolta è un qualcosa di ‘tangibile’. Il successo di ogni nuovo servizio, qualora si fosse dimostrato realmente diverso da tutti gli altri, potrebbe tuttavia decretarne la fine: dove mancano i Venture Capitals e/o la pubblicità non riesce a coprire le spese di banda, proporzionali ovviamente al traffico, l’unica scelta di sopravvivenza rimane la vendita ad un grosso gruppo. Una scelta vantaggiosa sin dall’inizio, tant’è che molte startup nascono al solo scopo di essere acquisite, talvolta creando un software compatibile con applicazioni di una grande azienda già esistenti. Massimo Moruzzi di DTCM, in un post di qualche settimana fa, disse: E’ una bolla, e non c’è altra exit strategy che vendere a Google o a Yahoo! – o a Murdoch, o a tanti altri, a dire il vero – e se Google o Yahoo! decidono di farselo in casa, sei fregato. A quelli di Writely per qualche strano motivo è andata bene, ma lo spreadsheet invece se lo sono fatto a Mountain View. E il calendario, pure. E Kiko ha dovuto mettersi in vendita su eBay. […]

  12. The “Web 2.0 ‘exit strategy’” badges | Central Scrutinizer (en. vers.) Says:

    […] About a month and a half from now there will be in San Francisco the third conference dedicated to Web 2.0, a favorable location for a discussion, in pragmatic words, about the existence of not of a “Bubble 2.0“. With the definitive affirmation of blogs, podcasts, wikis, video and photo sharing, social bookmarking and all the other instruments that value the single user as an ‘active’ part of the web, the continual creation-sharing-reuse of contents ride with an rhythm high as the growth of the number of services that support it. As in ‘new economy’ era, infact, every weeks born tens of startups (more of 300 in the last two years, as Go Web 2.0 and Categoriz confirm) ready to call for the attention of users about a service, and magazine cover’s successes e billionaires acquisitions has the power to expand the capacity of this boom: this time, further, hardware and software costs are decidedly lower , and the offered service is something of ‘tangible’. The success of a new service, if really demonstrated itself different from all the others, however could decree the end: where there’s a lack of Venture Capitals and/or the ads are to cover the band costs, naturally proportional to the traffic, the only reason of survival remains the sell to a big company. A favorable choice from the beginning, and it’s for this reason that many startup born only to to be acquired, creating sometimes a software compatible with other ones of a big group already existent. Massimo Moruzzi from DTCM, in a post published some weeks ago, said: It’s a bubble, and there isn’t other exit strategy that sell to Google or Yahoo! – or to Murdoch, or to many others, saying the truth – and if Google or Yahoo! decide to make it in their home, you’re scrubbed. To writely folks, for some strange reasons goes well, but the spreadsheet instead has been done in Mountain View. And the calendar, too. And Kiko has been forced to sell itself on eBay. […]

  13. Derek Says:

    ‘Paradigm Shift’ is probably the lamest possible name for a blog ever.

  14. max Says:

    hmmm…your site seems to be doing very well!
    good luck since you are in this field you are the expert!🙂

  15. Aaron Greenspan Says:

    Well, here’s another one…

    http://www.commonroom.com

  16. Nybbas Says:

    Here’s one for stepparents: Step Talk – Where Stepparents Come to Vent

  17. Steve Says:

    What about http://www.mycampusguide.com? 🙂

  18. Steve Says:

    What about mycampusguide.com ?🙂

  19. Julian Bond Says:

    So where’s the list?

  20. DB Says:

    12stepspace.com, another new “niche” social networking site that I’m involved in.

  21. Michael Flessas Says:

    6 billion on the planet. Still more room for social networks.

  22. Gern Blanstein Says:

    Web 2.0. What a crock of shit.

  23. Planet Malaysia Says:

    Yeah! Show us the list please!

  24. GADGET Blog » 300+ social network startups in less then 2 years. Says:

    […] Seems every day now you hear about another social network startup. From what people in the industry have been telling me there are between 300 and 400 new social networking/dating startups in the last 2 years. Only 4 or 5 of those sites will be around in another 4 or 5 years.read more | digg story Filed under: Gadgets by — TechManager @ 14:46 […]

  25. www.techtagg.com - See Tech Taggers view on this story! Says:

    300+ social network startups in less then 2 years

    There are an estimated 300 – 400 new social networking/dating startups in the last 2 years. Only 4 or 5 of those sites will be around in another 4 or 5 years.

  26. Web Strategy by Jeremiah » Saturday Reading with Jeremiah Says:

    […] Even eBay rolls out social site features, they’ve got the community, this could be a big win for them. There are over 300+ social sites. Some good some bad. How many can we have and support folks? It’s about niche communities.  As many communities we can have, is the amount of social sites we can have. […]

  27. sian Says:

    Those 300 or so startups Markus mentions in this thread, any idea where I can get the names of each and everyone? Its for research purposes.

    Thanks for the help.

  28. Logical Philosopher Says:

    Social Neworking: Digg and Blogger Beta Users Are

    … What can we do with these observations? I’ve been thinking about starting some focused social networking sites, but always had the feeling that the market was getting too crowded. The Paradigm Shift posted a blog last week entitled 300+ social ne…

  29. though i respect that a lot, i'd be fired if that were my job Says:

    go sign up for nano, registrations are now open

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  30. EveryDigg » Blog Archive » 300+ social network startups in less then 2 years. Says:

    […] Seems every day now you hear about another social network startup. From what people in the industry have been telling me there are between 300 and 400 new social networking/dating startups in the last 2 years. Only 4 or 5 of those sites will be around in another 4 or 5 years.read more | digg story […]

  31. 300+ social network startups in less then 2 years. « ThinkMobile Says:

    […] read more | digg story […]

  32. The Lab of the weblog Central Scrutinizer » Blog Archive » The “Web 2.0 ‘exit strategy’” badges Says:

    […] that support it. As in ‘new economy’ era, infact, every weeks born tens of startups (more of 300 in the last two years, as Go Web 2.0 and Categoriz confirm) ready to call for the attention of users about a service, and […]

  33. The “Web 2.0 ‘exit strategy’” badges - from The Lab of the weblog Central Scrutinizer Says:

    […] that support it. As in ‘new economy’ era, infact, every weeks born tens of startups (more of 300 in the last two years, as Go Web 2.0 and Categoriz confirm) ready to call for the attention of users about a service, and […]

  34. Daniel Says:

    I use http://www.highflya.com its a social network for working professionals and from what i have seen from them is that their site is really informative both for inexperienced professionals and experienced……….thats a site thats not going to vanish in the coming years.

  35. Jennifer Says:

    Does anyone have any idea how much is costs to start a social network? One that has photo text capabilities and chat etc?

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  38. No Name Says:

    I totally agree, the industry would be completely flushed out.

  39. Justin Says:

    It is not flushed out. There’s plenty of room for these types of sites.

  40. toksee Says:

    I think a big opportunity in this space will be to build widgets that allow cross platform communication. Then as networks come and go, the companies with the widgets won’t be affected as much.

  41. Rhyo Says:

    Here another. A nice social networking plaform for connecting indians residing in united states http://www.rhyo.com

  42. Burak Says:

    In my opinion, there are some important facts about social networking.
    They keep collecting information in every detail they can.Privacy is beeing harrassed and damaged, and in the near future people can face with really serious problems… (not just simple spams, more serious than that)

    Check out this article what I mean is really clear :

    http://www.buraak.com/2008/09/16/is-your-information-safe-with-social-networks/

  43. Cologlobe Limited Says:

    I am a Managed Hosting provider who works with Social networking who are working to move their products to the international market. Check out my website for more info http://www.cologlobe.com

  44. friendzbook Says:

    I am the founder of Friendzbook and looking for ways to bump up my traffic.

  45. Social Networking Software Says:

    I’m forwarding this link to our social network development team members. Social networks are now being designed at an astounding rate, hundreds every week.

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  47. tavip Says:

    waow a very good article, I find your articles very useful, if you still have another article about the business, maybe we could share and exchange articles

  48. tavip Says:

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  49. Dan Says:

    Another nice startup seems palglue.com. Very simple and efficient.

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