Earlier this month Craigslist shut down its adult classified section around the world. This followed a lengthy battle with attorneys general and advocacy groups who accused Craigslist of aiding and abetting child prositution.
A similar charge is being leveled against Backpage.com, the online classified section run by Village Voice Media which features an adult services category. Village Voice Media has asked for the case to be dismissed.
In the meantime, Backpage has seen a big uptick in traffic since Craigslist shut down. The site has been seeing about 2.4 million unique visitors a month. But since Craigslist went offline, that number has grown to nearly 3 million a month.
Since this time last year, the average monthly traffic to Backpage.com for the NY region has nearly tripled. The AIM group, which tracks classified ads, says Backpage.com has emerged as the new leader in ads for prostitution. But while these numbers are significant, AIM says Backpage’s growth represents only a fraction of the business that once existed on Craigslist.
“There are clear signs that some revenue and listings are migrating to Backpage and to other sites that specialize in prostitution advertising,” said Mark A. Whittaker, an AIM Group consultant. “It doesn’t seem likely that alternative sites will be able to absorb all of the money that had been spent with Craigslist.”
Wonder where this leaves VVM’s super-secret hipster sex blogs…
bpopper [at] observer.com | @benpopper