ComScore: Facebook Grew 5.6% in the US last month. Hitwise: “Facebook” Top US Search term

By Eric Eldon Comment

Facebook traffic grew by around 5.5 million users in the United States last month, according to the latest data from web traffic measurement firm comScore. This is basically in line with what we tracked over the same period. While comScore says Facebook grew from 97.2 million unique visitors in October to nearly 103 million by the end of last month (see table, below), we saw that Facebook grew from 94 million to 98.1 million monthly US active users in the same month, according to Facebook’s own data.

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Both of these are in contrast with measurement firm Compete, which showed Facebook declining from 128.9 million monthly US  uniques to 128.3 million in November. However, it appears Compete includes traffic numbers from Facebook Connect in here, whereas comScore doesn’t. Notably, comScore and Compete both show Facebook psuedo-rivals MySpace and Twitter traffic leveling off, a trend we’ve seen in recent months. The caveat with these Twitter stats is that there are probably some portion of people out there who use Twitter clients but never access the site and so don’t get counted by these companies.

In another sign of Facebook’s ongoing growth in the US over the last year, another measurement firm, Experian Hitwise, also has stats out today — about Facebook’s popularity as a search term. It was number one overall. From Hitwise: “This is the first year that the social networking Website has been the top search term overall, accounting for 0.67 percent of all searches. In fact, four variations of the term “facebook” were among the top 25 terms.” When you add all the Facebook terms together, the company accounted for 1.09 percent of US searches.

However, as Hitwise notes, Facebook was not the largest site in the US this past year:

Google was the top-visited Website for the second straight year. Google accounted for 6.70 percent of all U.S. visits between January and November 2009. Yahoo! Mail accounted for 4.44 percent of visits, followed by Facebook (4.26 percent), Yahoo! (3.36 percent) and MySpace (3 percent).