Anyone who thought Facebook was a flash in the pan and was losing ground to Twitter can think again. According to figures released by Hitwise, the firm that monitors Internet usage and trends, Facebook accounted for one in seven web pages viewed online in the UK during September. This amounted to a staggering 14.5% of page views generated in the United Kingdom falling on Facebook’s servers.
Facebook isn’t the most visited website in the UK, that honour is still Google’s, but as Google is so good at finding answers to users’ queries, Google doesn’t generate a great deal of page views per visit. Facebook on the other hand has a very high number of page views per visit, as its users spend hours checking messages, updated their status and using its myriad of applications.
Facebook is so popular in the UK that in September it received more page views than Google.co.uk, YouTube and eBay.co.uk put together!
Facebook’s traffic in the UK has increased by over 86% in the last 12 months and in September it generated almost 50% of all social networking traffic, putting the likes of MySpace and Bebo firmly in their place.
Hitwise’s Robin Goad believes that Facebook will only get stronger, as users are not only visiting in greater numbers, they’re spending longer on the website as well:
A key measure of success for any social network is average session time; as we have seen with sites such as Friends Reunited and MySpace, when average session times begins to drop off visitor numbers soon follow.
Facebook has yet to experience this problem: Hitwise monitoring data shows that its average visit time increased from 19 minutes 59 seconds in September 2008 to 26 minutes 14 seconds during September 2009 [a 31% increase].
How many of those 26 minutes and 14 seconds were spent in work time we wonder?
The message is clear though, Facebook is the most popular website in the UK, and as such plays a pivotal role in any Internet marketing strategy.