Social networking sites are on the rise globally and allow users to communicate and share information. Social networking sites are being used regularly by millions of people; and they keep people connected through a fast, free, simple, and an accessible way.
Interesting information from Marketingcharts.com in August 2009 shows that Facebook is the most popular social networking site in the US with 39.53% of market share of visit, followed by MySpace (23.65%), and YouTube (13.16%) at the third place.
According to a study released by comScore in July 2009 on UK social networking site usage by age of visitor, they found that 29.4 million people accessed at least one social networking site in the UK during the month of May in 2009. The average time spent per visitor was 4.6 hours, trailing only instant messaging at 8.6 hours. Also, Facebook.com ranked as the most popular social networking site with 23.9 million visitors in May 2009, followed by Bebo.com (8.5 million visitors), Windows Live Profile (6.9 million visitors) and MySpace Sites (6.5 million visitors). Facebook grew 57% over the previous twelve months. However, the big winner in the social networking site has been Twitter which grew more than 3,000% in 12 months to about 2.7 million visitors in May 2009.
About 80% of the total UK online population visited a site in the category in May 2009. Penetration was highest amongst 25-34 year old users, with 89 percent visiting a site in the category during the month, followed by 86 percent of 15-24 year olds. Category penetration was somewhat lower among the older age groups, but remained relatively high, reaching two thirds of the total online population age 55 and older. Furthermore, younger users were also more engaged than their older users, with 15-24 and 25-34 year olds averaging 5.4 hours per user per month compared with 3.7 hours per month among users age 55 and older.
According to the Nielsen report, Facebook is now the most visited social networking site in the world, visiting monthly by 3 in every 10 people online across the nine markets in which Nielsen tracks social networking use. The popularity of Facebook also helps move up its ranking of worldwide unique visitors. According to comScore in June 2009, Facebook is now the fourth largest site in the world, trailing only Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo sites. The ranking of worldwide unique visitors as of June 2009 is as follow:
- Google Sites: 844 million
- Microsoft Sites: 691 million
- Yahoo! Sites: 581 million
- Facebook: 340 million
- Wikimedia Foundation sites: 303 million
- AOL: 280 million
- eBay: 233 million
- CBS Interactive: 186 million
- Amazon: 183 million
- Ask Network: 174 million
It is interesting that Facebook itself only officially acknowledges 300 million active registered users. Perhaps, the difference is due to the fact that users do not have to be a registered user to visit some Facebook pages. Furthermore, there are some interesting statistics provided by Facebook:
- More than 300 million active users
- 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
- The fastest growing demographic is those 35 years old and older
- Average user has 130 friends on the site
- More than 6 billion minutes are spent on Facebook each day (worldwide)
- More than 40 million status updates each day
- More than 2 billion photos uploaded to the site each month
- More than 14 million videos uploaded each month
- More than 70 translations available on the site
- About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States
- Every month, more than 70% of Facebook users engage with Platform applications
- More than 350,000 active applications currently on Facebook Platform
- There are more than 65 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.