Facebook overtakes Google, Twitterers prefer social to news

18 Mar 2010

Facebook has overtaken Google in the US to be the most visited website, according to analysis from Hitwise. In related news, Twitter is exploding in terms of upstream traffic to social media sites over news and media sites.

According to Hitwise analyst Heather Dougherty, Facebook recently reached the No 1 ranking on Christmas, Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, as well as the weekend of 6-7 March.  

“The market share of visits to Facebook.com increased 185pc last week as compared to the same week in 2009, while visits to Google.com increased 9pc during the same time frame.

“Together, Facebook.com and Google.com accounted for 14pc of all US internet visits last week,” Dougherty said.

Facebook overtakes Google

Twitter, meanwhile, is fast emerging as a key traffic source to news and media sites. According to Hitwise analyst Heather Hopkins, Twitter.com accounted for 0.14pc of upstream visits to news and media sites last week. This compares to 3.64pc from Facebook and 1.27pc from Google News. Facebook was the No 3 source of visits to news and media websites last week. Google News was the No 11 site and Twitter.com ranked No 39.

“Twitter has enjoyed explosive growth, nearly tripling share of US internet visits year over year last week,” Hopkins said. “However, news and media companies have not seen similar growth rates in upstream traffic from Twitter.

“Upstream visits from Twitter.com to news and media sites have grown by 54pc over the past year. Compare this to upstream visits to all categories of websites, for which visits from Twitter.com have more than doubled (138pc).

“So where are all those Twitter.com visitors going? As illustrated in the chart below, the majority (60pc) are going to social networks and entertainment sites (mainly photography and video-sharing sites).”

By John Kennedy

Where Twitter users go next

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years