In a report released today by Nielsen, analysts found that Facebook is the stickiest social networking site. This is not new news, but the growth in total time spent on Facebook in the past year is kind of staggering. From April 2008 to April 2009, total minutes spent on Facebook increased from 1.7 billion minutes to 13.9 billion minutes – an annual growth rate of 700 percent. MySpace comes in second with 5 billion minutes in April 2009, roughly 2 billion minutes shy of time spent in April 2008. Blogger, Tagged, and Twitter follow next. (Twitter showed the largest percentage gain overall, up over 3700% since last year.)
While Facebook leads in time spent by a large margin, MySpace is still winning in time spent on video. Nielsen reports that in April 2009, MySpace users spent 384 million minutes watching videos, whereas Facebook users spent 114 million minutes. But this makes sense. As NewTeeVee correctly notes, MySpace’s lead in the online video category shouldn’t be surprising because the two sites have different strategies: “That’s really the difference between the two social networks’ approaches to video; MySpace has cultivated a premium video platform, one that treats video as entertainment rather than personal expression.”
Having hit the 200 million user mark, these numbers are a healthy indication that Facebook users are actually spending more time on the site as well. The really interesting analysis would be to see a breakdown of how these minutes are spent at a more granular level (e.g., uploading photos, interacting on Walls, playing with applications). But time is scarce and one of our biggest contraints these days, so I’m curious: what activities are you substituting for these extra minutes on Facebook?