A recent Nielson Company survey of web users found that Facebook users spend an average of seven hours a month updating statuses, sending messages, creating events, playing games, and just generally using the social network. The time spent on Facebook far surpassed the average time spent on any other site examined in the survey.
Facebook saw 116,329,000 unique users visit its site in the month of January, with a 5.80% month-over-month increase over December. Compare this to Google, the web brand with the most unique users in January, and it’s clear that Facebook is growing – Google’s 162,136,000 unique users in January only grew by 4.10% over December.
The time-spent data is even more telling. With just over seven hours average per month, Facebook users dwarf users on other top-ranking sites. The next most time spent on a website is just under two hours and ten minutes for Yahoo! and just over two hours for Google. This means that users spend roughly 3.5 times more time on Facebook than either major search engine each month. And Facebook had a 9.7 percent month-over-month increase in time-spent; all other sites fell between 3 and 58 percent.
Whether using the parent company data or the web brands data from Neilson, it’s clear that Facebook is growing. Measuring unique audiences in terms of parent company divisions – that is, all domains or URLs owned by a single company – puts Facebook in fourth overall rank, after Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft. Re-conceptualizing the data in terms of brands – all domains or URLs that contain consistent branded content – puts Facebook in third place, behind Google and Yahoo!.
Image via Royston Robertson