Monday, April 30, 2007

where the boys (and girls) are

In Britain search sites overtook sex sites in popularity last October—the first time any other category has come out on top since tracking began, says Hitwise.

In America, the proportion of site visits that are pornographic is falling and people are flocking to sites categorised “net communities and chat”—chiefly social-networking sites such as MySpace, Bebo and Facebook. Traffic to such sites is poised to overtake traffic to sex sites in America any day now (see chart).

As reported in Sex and the Internet: Devices and Desires, in the 19 April issue of the Econimist.

For anyone who's interested in traffic patterns online, the news that porn sites have been usurped by anything online is a possible indicator that, as the Economist suggests, the Internet is maturing as a medium.

It could also simply mean that the porn has picked up and moved shop to the sites that are beating it out in the traffic rankings -- social networking sites like MySpace, Flickr and SecondLife.

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