Stephen Wolfram unleashed a motherlode of data in a post yesterday: Data Science of the Facebook World. If you’re in the social media business don’t just read it, study it; there are some incredible insights here and helpful visualizations of the data.
I particularly like the chart above: it explains almost everything. Why photo-sharing apps and networks are so very viral. Why Facebook had to buy Instagram. Why Twitter and Pinterest (and interest-graph services) may be better long-term businesses than Facebook. Why many social networks explode then wither. Why companies that build graphs more slowly, methodically (i.e., LinkedIn) may in fact be more durable long-term.
Our online graphs and networks are most dense when we’re in our late teens and early twenties. Apps and services that tap into these particularly rich, dense networks can explode. They can also die off quickly as people get older, tastes change, or better alternatives come on the scene.
If I were a VC investing in these areas, I’d commit this chart to memory.