Facebook passed Web giants Google, Yahoo and Microsoft in user engagement in 2010 and appears poised to lap them in popularity among its 600 million-plus users, says comScore.
Facebook bested Web giants Google, Yahoo and Microsoft in
time spent online in the United States through 2010, with users spending 12.7 percent of
their time at the social network Website.
Facebook users logged 49.4 billion minutes, up 79 percent from 2009,
while total page views grew 71 percent to 76.8 billion, according to
comScore's "2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review study
." Facebook accounted for 10 percent of U.S. page views in 2010.
Google Sites and Yahoo Sites remain the most trafficked Web
properties in the country, with 180 million visitors each month. Facebook's U.S. audience grew to 153.9 million in
December, an increase of 38 percent from December 2009.
However, with 600 million-plus
users actively hobnobbing on the site from desktops, latops, tablets and mobile
phones, it's no stretch to think Facebook won't pass the Web powers in
popularity for 2011.
The user engagement stat is particularly important for
Web companies who rely on consumers to view or even click on ads.
Facebook has said its users are spending an average of 20
minutes per day on its Website, which means users are exposed to more of the
company's targeted display ads. EMarketer said
these ads earned the company $1.86 billion in ad sales last year.
Facebook is also
Sponsored Story ads to boost ad relevance, helping businesses better
connect with their consumers.
Facebook isn't the only social site enjoying big traffic. Social networking sites accounted for 12 percent of all
time spent online in 2010 with the average Internet user spending more than 4 sites
Specifically, LinkedIn emerged as the third largest social network
site with 26.6 million visitors, while Twitter.com climbed 18 percent
to 23.6 million visitors, excluding visitors from third-party and
mobile apps. Startup Tumblr hiked168 percent to 6.7 million monthly
"It is clear that social networking has become an
integral part of the fabric of the Internet and one that is increasingly
becoming integrated into the experience of so many different activities online,"
What should alarm Google, Yahoo and Microsoft about the
trend, which Facebook epitomizes best, is that none of the trinity of Web
rivals have a such a strong, fast horse in the social network race.
Microsoft and Yahoo prefer to integrate with Facebook for
their social utilities, while Google has yet to provide a serious social
component to lure users.
Google + 1, the search engine's offering in this arena,
is allegedly coming later this year, by which time Facebook will have
lengthened its market and social ad lead.