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MySpace Data Makes Me Worry For Our Youth

twilightUsing MySpace’s ad platform is a great way to learn things about the MySpace demographics.  I was able to look at how many people I could target on MySpace that were interested in a series of books:

  • Catch-22: 46k fans
  • Brave New World: 73k fans
  • The Kite Runner: 111k fans
  • Chronicles of Narnia: 119k fans
  • Great Gatsby: 124k fans
  • Eragon: 140k fans
  • Twilight: 472k fans
  • The Bible: 1.4m fans

So that is kind of disturbing.  Not only is Twilight rapidly catching the Bible, Eragon, a terrible book, is more popular than some of the best books available for targeting on MySpace.

You can pull the same data off of Facebooks Ad Platform:

  • Catch-22: 64k fans
  • Brave New World: 142k fans
  • The Kite Runner: 303k fans
  • Chronicles of Narnia: 250k fans
  • Great Gatsby: 310k fans
  • Eragon: 69k fans
  • Twilight: 842k fans
  • The Bible: 1.3m fans

This is kind of interesting in several dimensions:

  1. It seems to indicate a degree of directional consistency.  With the exception of Eragon and The Kite Runner, the rankings are in the same order.
  2. I think Facebooks filters skew the data substantially.  Facebook only shows results for people that identify as 18+.  That probably shrinks the Eragon fan base substantially.  Regardless, I suspect that it shows that Facebook has a more mature audience in that there are far fewer Eragon fans and far more Kite Runner fans, relatively.
  3. Facebook seems to have more fans in general.  I don’t think this reflects the size of their audience because most people agree that Facebook has fewer, albeit almost as many, US users than MySpace.  I assume that this means that Facebook does a better job of eliciting information from its user-base that it can use for ad targeting.
  4. Kids today have terrible taste in books.
  5. One additional note for reference:  Wandering around in the MySpace tool taxonomy pointed me to some reference data for comparison: 90k people likeds Abercrombie and Fitch and 480k liked tattoos, so your average MySpace person would take A&F over classic literatute and would take tattoos over any given book.
  6. Finally, I wanted to make a UX note: Facebook’s “suggestion” feature is super helpful.  I don’t know if MySpace uses a bunch of back-end processes to roll up people into similar groups, but Facebook offers “related terms” to incent advertisers to add more terms.  For example, when I typed Eragon, it told me I could also select “Eragon and Eldest” and “Eragon Series”, which were both similarly sized populations.  Using those additional two terms grew my targetable population by 20%.  MySpace gives you a taxonomy of terms to choose from (in this case, book titles).  I assume they are able to roll up all of these, but you never know.

Want a little more junk MySpace data?  Here are video games:

  • Madden fans: 38k
  • Guitar Hero fans: 162k
  • Halo: 174k
  • GTA: 182k
  • WoW: 520k

Clearly, WoW is some people’s religion.


  • 30 Rock: 60k fans
  • Colbert Report: 155k fans
  • Charmed: 324k fans
  • America’s Next Top Model: 348k fans
  • American Idol: 748k fans
  • Lost: 1.2m fans
  • CSI: 1.9m fans
  • Family Guy: 3.7m fans

Family Guy is bigger than Jesus.  Betcha didn’t think ANTM was such a big deal!  I would have thought that if Family Guy was so obviously huge, that Colbert would do better.

One Response to “MySpace Data Makes Me Worry For Our Youth”

  1. james Says:

    When Facebook first launched their platform, I was trying to find what the single biggest “interest” audience was. I can’t recall if it was actually the largest I found or just top 3, but “Family Guy” was definitely there. I would bet that Colbert is higher up the ladder on Facebook than on MySpace. And the biggest crime is that “30 Rock” is so low.

    I am also saddened at the list of books, the two best books are ranked the lowest. They actually seem to get progressively worse the higher in rank they go.