Nimble start-up is catching up on Facebook

15 Sep 2008

A social networking company that started up just in the past year is already beginning to close the gap on Facebook, which enjoys an older professional audience.

According to research by the Irish Computer Society (ICS), the number of Irish people using Facebook stood at 308,200, up 100pc from October last year when it had 131,660 Irish users.

However, – which was founded by Swedish student, Per Jacobsson, who was studying for a master’s in business and entrepreneurship at DIT in Aungier Street – grew from 5,000 members a year ago to nearly 117,000 members today.

The research by the ICS found that some 69pc of Facebook’s Irish users are over 25 years of age, proving that while Bebo attracts the kids, Facebook attracts an older, more professional market.

Some 60pc of Nimble’s 117,000 audience is female and the site’s owners reckon they have in the space of a single year captured 20pc of the Irish population of 16-24 year olds. The site boasts between four and six million views per month, with the average visiting time lasting 20 minutes

“The massive growth rate of Facebook is an indication of the evolving way people are interacting with each other and it shows that social networks are the new playgrounds, break rooms and community centres for the current generation,” said Jim Friars, chief executive of the ICS.

“With a million people on broadband in Ireland, massive percentages are hanging around on Facebook and other social networks.

“Businesses with websites now need to do more to engage with these people and those without websites will soon have a mountain to climb if they want to do business on the web. We are currently using the Irish social networking site Nimble to promote the F1 in Schools Technology Challenge to Irish students,” Friars added.

By John Kennedy

Pictured: now boasts nearly 117,000 members

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years