Facebook now has a 10 percent share of Internet visits in the U.S., and accounts for nearly 25 percent of page views, according to Hitwise’s statistics.
“In March, we reported an important milestone when the market share of visits to Facebook.com surpassed Google.com,” Hitwise wrote at the company’s blog.
“Since then, we have continued to watch the growth of Facebook.com, which increased 60% from the same week last year and represented 1 in 10 US Internet visits last week.”
Of course, it’s important to note that this doesn’t include visits from outside the U.S. and excludes mobile traffic.
Trailing behind Facebook, Google has about a 7 percent share and YouTube (owned by Google) about 3 percent of Internet visits.
On the page view front, YouTube and Google have a combined 11.7 percent share. It appears that Facebook is gobbling up a lot of what its CEO Mark Zuckerberg called the vast “uncharted” territory of the Internet.
By these metrics, Facebook is by far the single most popular website in the United States. |However, other sources with other measurements and criteria show some variance.
Analysis and intelligence firm comScore has also released stats showing huge growth from Facebook — a 55% year-over-year increase, in fact.
But comScore places Facebook at 151 million U.S. uniques for October 2010, slightly behind Google’s 173 monthly uniques, which means the search giant is the social network’s sole competitor for web traffic domination.
In any case, the statistics indicates that social networks – led by Facebook Inc. with half a billion users (including 100 million in the U.S.), Twitter (nearing 200 million users) and YouTube, which is rapidly evolving the social aspects of its 35-hours-per-minute of video destination – have become the dominant habitat for web users.
It’s the transition from the web as a constellation of billions of web pages navigated via search to a human-centered habitat with people filtering the massive expanse of the Internet for each other.
Facebook has had antecedents, such as Friendster, MySpace and Second Life in building a more human or social layer for the Internet. But in the last few years, Mark Zuckerberg and company are effectively colonizing the social layer of the Internet, migrating the human species into a new digital habitat.
Along with colonization comes all the issues of governance and policy, and the possibility of social unrest and becoming too powerful. Imagine a Facebook that also dominates search, commerce and other key aspects of Internet usage.
p.s. It’s no wonder that Facebook, as the largest social network, has performed so well this year. But we wonder what the still-young company will do to keep these numbers growing next year. [Hitwise via CBS News]