Facebook has dethroned Google-owned Orkut as No.1 social networking site in India. With over 2-crore visitors last month, Facebook has shown stupendous growth in the past few months, overtaking Orkut, said global research firm comScore, Inc.

“Facebook.com posted an especially strong month in July, growing 12 per cent versus June but 179 per cent up versus a year ago, to capture the top spot in the category with 2.09 crore visitors. Orkut ranked second with 1.99 crore visitors — up 16 per cent versus year ago,” it said. These two sites were followed by BharatStudent.com with 44-lakh visitors, up 3 per cent.

Interestingly, Twitter.com had the highest rate of growth among the top five social networking sites, increasing 239 percent to 33-lakh visitors, while Yahoo! owned two of the top 10 social networking sites — Yahoo! Pulse (35-lakh visitors) and Yahoo! Buzz (18-lakh) visitors, it added.

More than 3-crore Internet users aged 15 and older in India visited social networking sites in July, representing 84 per cent of the total Internet audience. India is the seventh largest market for social networking, after the U.S., China, Germany, Russian Federation, Brazil and the United Kingdom. The total Indian social networking audience grew 43 per cent in the past year, more than tripling the rate of growth of the total Internet audience in India.

“The social networking phenomenon continues to gain steam worldwide, and India represents one of the fastest growing markets at the moment,” said Will Hodgman, comScore executive vice-president for the Asia-Pacific region. “Though Facebook has tripled its audience in the past year to pace the growth for the category, several other social networking sites have posted their own sizeable gains,” he added.

Control over data-sharing

Orkut has decided to provide its users more control over data-sharing by allowing them to define and customise group settings. “We've created this new functionality to give Orkut users more privacy and control over how they share content,” Google Product Director Victor Ribeiro said.