Facebook and MySpace are two of the most popular Web sites in history: Their users number in the millions and the sites are viewed a half-billion times a day by people around the world.
According to Facebook spokesperson Chris Hughes, Facebook.com scores seventh in terms of overall Internet traffic (one place behind Google), and its users spend an average of 18 minutes a day on the site.
The site was founded in 2004 by then-Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg and is focused primarily on college students. Users are required to submit a valid ".edu" email address to access the site. Facebook has recently expanded its reach and added high-school and international sites.
MySpace was founded by Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson in January 2004. It currently has more than 60 million members, with an additional 5 million joining every month.
Even larger than Facebook, MySpace is the second most frequently visited Web site in the world, surpassing MSN, eBay, Hotmail and AOL. MySpace has become so popular that New Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch spent $580 million in July 2005 to acquire MySpace's parent company, Intermix Media.
Who are community members?
The popularity of these sites is so overwhelming among teens and young adults that they may come to define Generation Y.
According to New York Times columnist David Brooks, the users of these sites are "in their early to mid-20s; they're out of school . . . . They're highly mobile, half-teen/half-adult, looking for a life plan and in between the formal networks of school, career and family."