The Next Web recently put together an interesting animation showing the most popular social media networks, ranked by number of users over time. There’s a lot to be learned here — as they point out it’s surprising how long LinkedIn has been around and how popular Friendster was at one point. You can watch various Google efforts climb in popularity and then fade away. Perhaps most interesting is to see the dominance of YouTube and Facebook. Once they hit the top of the listings, everyone else is fighting over their leftovers. If you ever need a visualization of how the digital environment consolidates on a small number of “winners”, then this will fit the bill. Also, there’s a really dramatic musical accompaniment to enjoy while you watch.