Women and Swing State Visitors Big on Facebook

Experian Hitwise released several data points yesterday about Facebook’s audience in preparation for the social site’s highly anticipated IPO, planned for Friday. The web measurement firm determined that one in every five page views in the U.S. happened on Facebook. In addition to other staggering traffic and time-spent numbers, Hitwise revealed some factoids that should help marketers get a better grasp on the site’s audience composition.

Political advertisers will be interested to know 10 states, including 2012 battlegrounds Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and North Carolina, account for 52 percent of visits to Facebook. California, Texas, New York, Illinois, Michigan, and Georgia complete the year-to-date list.

“This represents the volume of traffic, so obviously the bigger states, the bigger areas tend to visit Facebook the most,” said Experian Hitwise spokesperson Matt Tatham.

Another way Hitwise measures traffic is by looking at where it’s concentrated. “We’re looking at concentration of traffic by people who are most likely to visit [Facebook],” said Tatham. Using that metric, Hitwise reported that users in several states including one other battleground state – Iowa – are more likely to visit Facebook than the online population as a whole, on average this year. Also on that list are West Virginia, Kentucky, Maine, Vermont, Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Alabama.

Also, Hitwise found the New York City DMA provides the largest volume of Facebook traffic while the users in the Charleston, West Virginia DMA – a college town – are most likely to visit compared to the online population.

And, while it doesn’t match the huge gender gap on Pinterest, where some reports show upwards of an 80 percent female audience, Facebook does skew toward women, according to Hitwise. The firm said 56 percent of Facebook’s audience are women.

Where does the largest volume of visitor traffic to Facebook emanate from? The New York City DMA, reported Hitwise.

Keep in mind the Hitwise data “does not include all mobile traffic,” which, if factored in could alter the numbers presented here.

Some more Facebook U.S. audience data from Hitwise:

  • The site attracted 9 percent of all U.S. web visits in April 2012.
  • Facebook brought in more than 400 billion page views this year and more than 1.6 billion page views per week.
  • In April 2012, 96 percent of visitors to Facebook were returning after a previous visit.
  • On average, users visit Facebook for 20-minute intervals.

Nielsen also has some recent Facebook stats. The measurement firm said in March time spent by U.S. users on Facebook averaged 7 hours.