I've been harping on design, usability and experience for longer than I care to admit. Here's some info from a CNN story on the divide between users of social networks extends through income;
A recent study found that people in more affluent demographics are 25 percent more likely to be found friending on Facebook, while the less affluent are 37 percent more likely to connect on MySpace. The wealthiest users, however, are on LinkedIn
Users with household income above $75,000
Facebook -- 41.74 percent
MySpace -- 32.38 percent
LinkedIn -- 58.35 percent
Twitter -- 43.34 percent
MySpace, on the other hand, had a "come one, come all" policy and made a mad dash towards monetization, Ostrow said. "They used a lot of banner ads without regard to the quality, and it really diminished the value [of the site] for the more tech-savvy demographic."
So which social networks provide the most value and have the highest potential for revenue? It's never going to be MySpace, that boat has sailed.
LinkedIn and Twitter are delivering on their promise to the greatest extent... largely because they're both constrained in what they are designed to do. Twitter as a 'what's happening right now' and LinkedIn as a business network.
Facebook has a harder time of it. Fbook's huge user base is such a conglomeration that it's difficult to find a real niche that Facebook can attack other than 'everyone's connected to everyone else'.
Here's my ratings for Design, Usability, and User Experience for the big four:
Facebook -- B- Decent, but the addition of so many applications on user pages makes for a cluttered experience.
MySpace -- D Terrible UI and even worse design. The only reason I can't actually fail MySpace is that they acually have millions of users.
LinkedIn -- B Again, like Facebook, a decent UI. It's always difficult to keep large data-sets distinct while maintaining usability.
Twitter -- A- Simple and clean.
Facebook -- C The default page is clean but that falls apart on individual pages.
MySpace -- C Myspace gets a C since it's proven that even MySpace users can eventually navigate the site.
LinkedIn -- B Better get in before they really start with the monitization.
Twitter -- B+ Leading the pack since there are so few options. Simple = usibility.
Facebook -- B This is where there's a split. Facebook's need for content generation starts to saturate it's usefullness as any real communication tool.
MySpace -- C Last place again. Seems like a state fair game.
LinkedIn -- B+ Tied for first. LinkedIn doesn't get heavy until you're an experienced user.
Twitter -- B+ Tied for first. Simple means that Twitter is easy. (Unless you're following a crowd.)