Sex Sells Social Networks

by Jennifer Golbeck

When I began studying social networks a couple years ago, I started by building a list of every social network on the web that met a set of criteria. That list currently has over 130 social networks, with about 170,000,000 user accounts among them.


What surprised me, but shouldn't have, is that sex sells social networks as much as anything else.


The second largest social network on the list, with around 20,000,000 members, is Adult Friend Finder, the self-proclaimed "World's Largest Sex and Swinger Personals Site".


20,000,000 Active Members!


Also coming in among the eighteen million-member networks is Alt.com which proclaims itself as the "World's Largest BDSM & Alternative Lifestyle Personals". It has about 3,500,000 active members.


All I can say is that networks like HotSaints.com (motto "...Chase and be Chaste") have a lot of catching up to do.