Hitwise, which collects internet usage data directly from ISPs to measure the traffic to more than 800,000 internet sites, has tapped the six Web 2.0 companies most likely to reach the soaring success of YouTube, Wikipedia or Flickr. To do so, it looks at the types of early adopters now using the sites.
The list includes Yelp, StumbleUpon, Veoh, WeeWorld, Imeem and Piczo. Hitwise announced its projections at the O'Reilly Web 2.0 Expo.
It compiled the list by measuring the sites on the internet that have the most users in demographic categories described as Money and Brains, Young Digerati and Bohemian Mix, said Bill Tancer, general manager of Hitwise. These user groups were most likely to favour sites like YouTube and Flickr before they became as wildly popular as they are today.
Here is a run down on what these six Web 2.0 companies do:
-- Yelp offers an online guide that allows users to rate various goods and services.
-- StumbleUpon allows users to recommend websites to others with common interests.
-- Veoh provides software to allow users to collect, publish and watch high definition videos.
-- WeeWorld allows users to create a graphic alter ego to be used for online or mobile communications.
-- Imeem is an online community to allow users to promote their content, blogs, music, photos and videos.
-- Piczo is a site that allows users -- it targets teenagers -- to create their own customisable websites.
As part of the same study, Hitwise also found that visits to "participatory" websites like Wikipedia and YouTube that allow users to provide content has increased from 2% of all internet traffic in 2005 to 12% of all traffic as of last week -- a jump of 668%.
"One of the questions I am asked most often ... is if [Web 2.0] is just a fad or will it get traction," Tancer said. The Web 2.0 and participatory web really is gaining traction." Hitwise's research also revealed that only 16 % of YouTube users are uploading video, while 2% of Flickr users are adding photos and 4.5% of visitors to Wikipedia are editing content on the site.