Facebook passes 175 million users

Is it just me or is Facebook’s growth speeding up?

Dave Morin, who runs Facebook’s application platform team, tonight announced on Twitter/friendfeed that Facebook had passed 175 million users.

Congrats. I told a few people at Davos that Facebook would be THE story of the year in Silicon Valley. Twitter is trying to make it interesting, but Facebook really is far far ahead.

Best growing newish services of 2008 (is Louis Gray right?)

I see Louis Gray has posted a list of his 10 top new web services for 2008.

I thought the list was missing a few of the best new services. So, I did two comparisons:

1. I asked Twitter for what services they liked the best that were new.
2. I compared all of Louis’ top services on Compete.com to my favorite new service, FriendFeed, to see how they measured up in traffic.

First, let’s compare in Compete. I included TechMeme in the charts as a baseline since that news service continues to be popular.

1. Twitter Search. Can’t compare here, but Louis is right. This is a service that not only got popular this year but also was acquired by Twitter.
2. SocialMedian. FriendFeed had much more growth this year. But SocialMedian is up and to the right.
3. Backtype. They were up, but only slightly compared to FriendFeed. Jury is still out here.
4. TweetDeck. Guy Kawasaki uses it, so that’s enough evidence. TweetDeck actually grew faster than Backtype or SocialMedian, so they deserve to be higher up on the list.
5. Strands. My friend Francine Hardaway loves Strands, so that’s enough evidence that Louis is right, but they struggled to find an audience this year when compared to the other services on the list.
6. ReadBurner. They struggled more than anyone on this list so far to get growth. Sorry, but in a recession growth is job #1 and no one has come close yet to FriendFeed in growth metric.
7. Feedly. This one is like ReadBurner. Struggling to show growth.
8. Gnip. Flatlined.
9. Toluu. Flatlined.
10. SocialToo. Show a lot of growth in last month. Impressive compared to Feedly, Gnip, Toluu.

What are my favorite new things, written before I started this post?

1. FriendFeed. Growth solid all year long except last month. The best of any of these services mentioned so far.
2. Qik. Good growth earlier this year, then flatlined.
3. TripIt. Nice solid growth all year long, but not fast enough to get VC’s hot and bothered.
4. Evernote. Solid growth this year, but flatlined past few months.

What about Twitterer’s favorite services? How did they compare? My comments in italics.

jgsilvestrone @scobleizer top new applications:  Green Home Huddle, Green Directory Montana Sorry, Louis Gray is a better picker. These services aren’t even on Compete.com’s traffic list.
TexasGirlErin @Scobleizer ShareThis and newcomer Modista will be something I use in 2009. Wow, we have a winner! ShareThis.com beats FriendFeed’s growth. Louis, how did you miss this one? Modista? Try again, flatline growth.
nickck @Scobleizer friendfeed, zotero (which is the best notating app for firefox). Sorry, Zotero is flatlined, so Louis Gray is better at picking new companies.
erincollopy @scobleizer -Tweet Deck and Kayak for travel. Infraction! Kayak existed before the year started and was very popular. It grew and now is falling in popularity. Go to jail, do not pass go and do not collect $200.
meaganm @Scobleizer I’d say ShareThis! And you’d beat Louis Gray, but do you have nine more in your pocket?
davidhhendricks @Scobleizer tripit I love it to, so you get points for picking the same thing I did.
KellyJohns @Scobleizer Friendfeed is the best, thanks for recommending Robert, Qik too if it would actually work on my Blackberry or iPhone. Qik works on Blackberry now, iPhone if you jailbreak it.
zaphodd Icon_red_lock @Scobleizer Services: Meebo, iTunes App store, Boxee Hey, I didn’t know about Meebo before this year, but they were already popular. I will give you a point because they grew really nicely this year. Boxee? Definitely cool. Not much growth until late in the year, but still pretty flat.
jblock @Scobleizer Yammer and FriendFeed. Yammer won TC50, so they deserve to be on the list. They grew really fast right after that, but have leveled off since then.
OfficeHax @Scobleizer snackr is the hottest service that I started using in 08. Snackr has too few users to be found by compete.com. No “beat Louis Gray” trophie for you.
sweyn @Scobleizer Laconi.ca is my pick for new service. Oh, let’s just put Plurk in there too. Plurk grew nicely. Louis Gray missed that one. Laconi.ca wasn’t even found by compete. The service identi.ca, which is based on Laconi.ca grew, fell, and now is flatlined. So, Plurk beats it. You’re no Louis Gray!
JimmySky @Scobleizer: Digsby, Evernote. Evernote has already been covered. Digsby grew quite well all year, except for last two months where it went up like crazy and then fell back down. Did Oprah talk about it? Anyway, you beat Louis Gray, so congrats!
teleken @Scobleizer Twitter, FriendFeed, last.fm. Twitter? That started in 2006. So, infraction! Last.fm? Same thing. Although both grew nicely so at least your heart is in right place.
JonathanDeamer @Scobleizer Hottest new service that I wasn’t using in 2007? Spotify. Best music app I’ve ever used, no question. You seen it? I haven’t seen it, invite-only at this point so compete.com doesn’t have any data for it. Gotta check it out!
thatJENgirl @Scobleizer Yahoo Pipes, WidgetBox, Webnode.com. Webnode had pretty flat growth, but better than a few of Louis’ choices, so you win there. WidgetBox? That was popular at the beginning of the year but had nice growth all year long.
dcfemella @Scobleizer FriendFeed, Seesmic, and Twitter. Seesmic saw nice growth this year, except last few months.
GR8CDNPumpkin @Scobleizer Brightkite, Pixelpipe, Friendfeed, Social|Median, Strands … that is most of them I think. Brightkite saw great growth. You are better than Louis Gray! Pixelpipe? Not so much.
alyero @scobleizer hottest new service – Planypus (www.planypus.com). Planypus? Um, no. Sorry. Try again.
sadekhm @Scobleizer Friendfeed, Plurk, Dropbox, Tumblr. Tumblr had bigger growth than FriendFeed, which explains why it just closed $4.5 million in funding. A tiny bit unfair because it started out more popular, though, so really was a hot app of 2007.
dave1meyer @Scobleizer – best new tool for me in 2008 was Things for Mac/iPhone. Great GTD app. Hard to judge this one because it’s an iPhone app but compete.com was not impressed.
lirontocker @Scobleizer Dropbox. Nice growth, but a lot slower than FriendFeed. Better than many of Louis’ picks, though.
jakks @Scobleizer Friendfeed. Socialcast. Blip.fm. Um, Socialcast wasn’t even on the chart, so no. Go back to the Louis Gray school of finding new cool services.
lirontocker @Scobleizer Truphone Another iPhone app, so compete.com probably under ranking this.
Eyebee @Scobleizer Hottest new service here: Friendfeed, Disqus, 12seconds.TV. Oh, Disqus is a major growth winner this year. So is 12seconds.tv. You win the “beat Louis Gray” game.

There are lots of other suggestions on this thread on FriendFeed:

FriendFeed, Otherinbox, Dropbox. – Nir Ben Yona Otherinbox grew a bit, definitely more than some of the stuff Louis recommended, but was pretty flat so won’t get VC’s interested. Dropbox very flat.
FriendFeed – Kenton
I will have to say friendfeed too :o) and ning. :o) – Rob Sellen Ning was popular going into the year, but look at the growth all year long! Makes FriendFeed’s growth look tiny.
FriendFeed, Yammer – Uwe Schwarz
definitely getdrpbox.com and drop.io – Milos Radovic Drop.io had an OK year, doubling traffic, which was better than many of Louis’s picks, but it started out the year with 50k users, so isn’t quite a new service this year.
FriendFeed – Stupid Blogger (aka Tina)
FF, Evernote, GoogleApps, Pandora – Rob Michael
Friendfeed… – Bob Blunk
Mint.com, Remember the Milk, FF – Mark Philpot Mint.com won TC50 in 2007, so doesn’t apply here. It had a lot of growth this year, though. Remember the Milk also started out with 50k users this year, but more than doubled them.
Friendfeed, but in terms of everyday day-to-day usage than ‘iPhone apps’ are far more frequent than Friendfeed (though that probably doesn’t count). – Andrew Leyden
Mark Philpot beat me to RTM — it is really good. – Robert W. Anderson via twhirl
FriendFeed certainly. Qik on iPhone for sure. Digsby has redefined my email/IM/social networking, nothing else beats it. – Nathan Chase
Friendfeed., Lightroom 2.0. – Thomas Hawk
tripit is my favorite as well as Twitter. used twitter back in ’07 but didn’t have a need until I lost my job at Yahoo! in Feb. ’08 – Randy Ksar via twhirl
FriendFeed & Twitter – Atul Arora
Friendfeed, Plurk, Dropbox, Tumblr – Hisham
twitter, friend feed, social median – dan
Friend Feed, Pandora – Victoria/Plautia
AOL j/k… Windows Live has some interesting components. And FriendFeed. – Mark VandenBerg
Netflix on demand, FriendFeed – Brian Roy
FriendFeed Qik Evernote BrightKite – Enrique Gutierrez via twhirl
Friendfeed; Doppler; Blip.FM; Dropbox – Jorge Gobbi via twhirl
Friendfeed. – Katie
Twitter, Qik and shamefully; WordPress – Mauricio Reyes
FriendFeed, Dopplr, Plazes – flapic Plazes didn’t do anything. Dopplr didn’t either. No Louis Gray award for you.
Everything (except for YouTube, Flickr, SU and Digg…the “old” stuff). I went from Blogger to WP in January, had special words for people who used Twitter. – Anika Malone
Liking even though I was already using FF in 2007 and still my fave in 2008 :)Mark Krynsky
Friendfeed. Socialcast. Blip.fm – Jaica Kinsman
FriendFeed, Seesmic, and Twitter – Shevonne Polastre
ping.fm blip.fm dropbox – Mike G
Friendfeed, evernote, twitter – seanb via twhirl
Diigo too. – Jaica Kinsman Diigo saw nice growth this year.
Well, thanks everyone for helping us find the best services of 2008. Based on the results here’s my final list of sites that had fewer than 100,000 users at the beginning of the year and have seen sizeable growth this year:

1. FriendFeed.
2. ShareThis.
3. Brightkite.
4. TweetDeck.
5. Disqus.
6. 12seconds.tv.
7. Qik.
8. Evernote.
9. TripIt.
10. Digsby.
11. Plurk.

So, who has a better list? Me (and a bunch of people on Twitter and FriendFeed) or Louis Gray? To be fair, Louis explained why he thought FriendFeed shouldn’t be used this year, so probably that same reason would keep some other of my favorite newish companies from being considered.

Either way, I learned a lot about what companies have caught people’s attention and it’s interesting to compare growth curves among companies.

Some fun distractions while I put this list together? Look at these companies growth curves:

They grew four Twitters (if you use the December-sized Twitter).
Twitter. Wow, look at that growth! Plus, growth curve is a lot steeper than FriendFeed.
Ning. Growing faster than Twitter.

Anyway, my hat is off to all entrepreneurs that have seen a ton of growth this year. Hope 2009 brings you even more. Did we miss anyone? Leave a comment with a link.