Facebook is destroying Google in time spent online (chart)

Facebook is destroying Google in time spent online (chart)

Summary: A new chart shows just how badly Facebook is beating Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL in time spent online.

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We already know Facebook dominates in time spent online. Now, Citigroup Interwebs analyst Mark Mahaney has put the data into a more readable form: a chart.

Mahaney wrote a note showing US share of time spent online at Facebook, Google sites, Yahoo sites, Microsoft sites, and AOL. The accompanying chart, which you can see above, shows a steep rise for Facebook compared to a slower rise for Google, a relatively flat line for Microsoft, a decline for Yahoo, and a serious drop for AOL.

Here's an excerpt of Mahaney's note, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal:

As people spend more time on Social Media sites, it would be logical to assume that they would do more Search activity on these sites. Use of portal sites and direct entry (to Websites) appear to have declined as a means to Search for content. Today, most of the Searches done on Facebook are “people” searches, but as Facebook increasingly socializes content and commerce, we would expect people to find rich Search results influenced by social signals from their friends.

Social networks predominantly earn revenue via Online Display advertising and a majority of the ad spend comes from self service (i.e. advertisers posting ads directly themselves). Inventory remains relatively inexpensive; engagement time is high, and therefore inventory levels are significant. This is reflected in the growth in share of Ad impressions in the US over a year from little over 20% at the end of 2009 to 34% at the end of 2010. More specifically, per comScore, Facebook was number 1 based on Ad impressions in 2010, and delivered almost double the number of Ad impressions as the next closest player.

In Q1 2008, Facebook only occupied two percent of a typical American's day. In Q3 2011, the social network takes up eight times more of your typical 24 hours: around 16 percent. Even though Facebook is still a private company, the site already dominates the Internet in a way that makes it impossible for investors to ignore.

Facebook may have started out as a fun distraction, but it has become integral to many people's daily routines. The graph shows that at least for Americans, the service is becoming more and more essential.

See also:

Topics: Social Enterprise, Google

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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14 comments
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  • RE: Facebook is destroying Google in time spent online (chart)

    It's interesting to include Google in this comparison since the majority of their success is still around search where the aim of the game is to get them off your site as quickly as possible.

    Nevertheless, I'll be fascinated to see how/if Google+ changes things for them.


    Richard
    richard.gregory@...
    • RE: Facebook is destroying Google in time spent online (chart)

      @richard.gregory@...
      A big amount of "Google" is probably YouTube.
      WebSiteManager
  • RE: Facebook is destroying Google in time spent online (chart)

    The majority of your facebook users never log off of the site at all so a comparison like this would be totally skewed by that fact alone. I have 4 computers at home, 3 of which are accessible by kids and all 3 have a FB page up and running pretty much 24/7.
    kus2728
    • RE: Facebook is destroying Google in time spent online (chart)

      @kus2728
      I wouldn't call the skewing. I would call that good retention.
      Empro
      • RE: Facebook is destroying Google in time spent online (chart)

        @Empro <br>The purpose of such a study is more to see who is online doing things for each of the sites and mostly for advertising purposes. Advertising doesn't mean anything if the person logged on to the site is not sitting at the computer actively watching it.
        And I would not call it retention as much as I would laziness to log off and back on every time they sit in front of the PC.
        kus2728
      • RE: Facebook is destroying Google in time spent online (chart)

        @Empro Question is...are all these companies aiming to keep their users on their sites longer... This comparison is thrown out there as if this is the goal of all of the companies involved. I've read that ad inventory on pass thru sites is worth more than on destination sites.
        storm14k
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  • Apples to Apples

    Great comparison.... Google+ may change things now.... but Google's soul purpose has always been to have people click off of their sites onto adds. So if people are spending too much time on a Google site, google is not doing their job... Although facebook has adds, their original goal is to keep people on their site indefinitely, or at least for several hours... This is not a like-like comparison.
    mcudmore
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  • To attract eyeballs, The title is made so exaggerating.

    it would be naive to say big g will lose to fb.<br>Big g has the best talents and can always deliver products with real value to users, not like fb, the time spent on fb are mostly wasted meaninglessly.
    lanjian45
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  • RE: Facebook is destroying Google in time spent online (chart)

    need to understand what time on a site really means, if I am logged into my gmail account all day does this count?
    dave.sedar@...
  • A real and useful comparison would be: time spent vs. revenue derived,

    which would be a real indication of the value of the time spent on a site. With a graph that could depict time spent vs. revenue generated, Google's line on the chart would put Facebook's to shame. Likewise, Microsoft and Yahoo, and perhaps even AOL, would show better results than Facebook.
    adornoe