Web Measurement Firms: Facebook Had Mixed Growth in August, September 2010

Facebook brought in some more users late this past summer, at least according to some third-party web measurement firms.

ComScore showed the company posting a gain of slightly more than 20 million new unique visitors worldwide between August and September to reach 620 million. The only other company that reports world stats is Google, and it showed flat traffic at 540 million over the same period.

In the United States, there’s a similar diversity of data points — and in fact we’ve seen similar fits-and-starts growth patterns for the company in past months. Differences in tracking and counting methodologies account for some of the discrepancies in what the overall view shows. What’s most notable is that the overall trend continues to be up.

Here’s a closer look.

Compete

Facebook grew by nearly 3 million new monthly uniques to slightly less than 131 million, MySpace fell by around the same number to less than 60 million, and Twitter stayed even at around 28.3 million.

ComScore

Facebook stayed pretty much flat, growing a few hundred thousand users to 148 million monthly uniques. Rival MySpace fell a couple million and Twitter stayed even flatter.

Worldwide showed stronger growth for Facebook and Twitter, but not for MySpace, which continued to fall.

Google Ad Planner

While the search giant’s DoubleClick ad tool showed an unchanging worldwide monthly unique count, another count appeared to fall slightly — daily unique visitors went down towards 200 million.

Quantcast

Coming in slightly under comScore, the firm showed growth of around 2 million, to 135 million US uniques. Twitter, interestingly, shows an unusual blip in which it grew by 10 million new users over the course of August to end at 54.5 million.

Facebook Data

The company self-reported US numbers growth of 4.42 million to 143 million monthly active users (a roughly equivalent measure to unique visitors), which you can read more about in our Inside Facebook Gold service.

Conclusion

So, in sum, most services show Facebook gaining at least some new users in the US, while worldwide stats suggest overall growth. One explanation for the differences per month is that different firms count the same traffic for different months, which suggests we’ll see similar fits and starts in the autumn stats.

Among Facebook’s closest product competitors, all firms show MySpace flat or falling, while some a couple show intriguing growth for Twitter.