Big Brother Web site pulls in crowds

Latest figures suggest that Channel Four's new reality TV show is proving a hit with Net users

The Big Brother Web site has been tipped to be one of the Internet successes of this summer, after early figures show it is proving surprisingly popular with many Web users.

Figures released on Thursday by Internet monitoring company NetValue show that 600,000 UK home surfers logged onto the Big Brother site in May. This means the site attracted 4.3 percent of all home Internet users.

This wasn't enough to place it in the top 50 most visited Web sites of the month, but NetValue points out that the site only went live towards the end of the month. "Big Brother managed to attract 600,000 visitors in only one week. Next month, I expect it to make a very strong showing and to be in the top twenty or thirty sites," said Jannie Cahill, marketing manager for NetValue.

Men made up almost 62 percent of the visitors to the Big Brother site. Over a fifth of those logging on were students, while 18 percent were classed as professionals by NetValue.

Netvalue's figures also show an increase in the popularity of Web sites targeted at female surfers. "Normally there's only one 'women's Web site' with a big enough reach to appear in our monthly statistics, but this month there were five," explained Cahill.

Handbag.com was the most popular women's site and attracted 1.4 percent of all UK home Internet users. NetValue found that the number of women online had risen to 5.8 million, compared to only 1.8 million at the start of this year. May was also the first month in which women were found to spend more time on the Web on average than men.

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