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Social media is more popular than porn

At around 500 BC Greek philosopher Hiraclitus wrote that “the only constant is change.” Not much has changed since. Good prevails.

Movies with strong sexual or violence content usually bomb at the box office, as we pointed out in More Movies. Even video games outsell porn videos (and, in fact, all videos/DVDs). And if you think that the words “sex” or “porn” are the most searched words on Google you are wrong. At an early stage of Google – and AltaVista, Northern Light and Yahoo! and the almost 2000 other search engines – “sex” briefly did become the most searched word but the word “God” has remained at the top of searches for many years. Until recently.

Search engines do not publish their most searched word but looking at the Google timeline for the most searched word it is clear that it changes all the time. The fastest rising searched word in 2009 was “michael Jackson” and in 2010 it was “chatrolette.” (In 2008 it was “sarah palin”.)

Let’s put this in perspective. Google, which commands some 70% of searches in most of the world, had indexed 1 trillion URLs (Uniform Resource Locater – web page addresses) by 2008 and has been adding millions by the day, handling more than a billion search queries per day. Although 1 trillion web URLs is thought to be only 20% of the total Internet – the World Wide Web being the public part of the whole Internet, the rest are company intranets or private web pages – the public searches for the words “sex” or  “porn” has remained at around 300 million per month, much less than some other words. Even at the world’s second most popular search engine, YouTube (a Google property – and a nice one at that) the most searched word in the world at this time is said to also be… “Facebook.”

That should come as no surprise. After all, Facebook is the 2nd most popular social service in the world, trailing the Chinese IM QQ with only 150 million users (but Facebook is said to have more active users than QQ). Add other massive social networking sites such as Orkut, Hi5, Mixi, Tagged, Twitter and many others and it becomes clear that good does indeed prevail – porn networks lag them.

Socialization is here to stay, needless to say. It’s always been here. Being social is part of our DNA. People love people. We communicate. It is a very kind thing to do. That is what makes the world go around.

Will Facebook – on any other web social network – always be here? Nothing is cast in stone. Every month more than two million new babies are born in India and China – English is not the most spoken language in the world and becoming less so. Facebook has some way to go to equal the domination that the likes of Microsoft Windows or Coca-Cola hold in their markets globally. But social communication will stay. People will always look for “sex” or “porn” or “God” – in whatever language.

And they would always want to know what their friends think about it.

Friends trust the recommendations of their friends more than they trust any other form of advertising, in any language, as Erik Qualman explains in his book Socialnomics and in the Social Media Revolution video. That is why social media is more popular than porn and why it’s good to have great friends.

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