Top Social Networking Sites in September 2009

Facebook now accounts for almost 60 percent of U.S. traffic to social networking sites, having increased its share of audience by 194 percent in September 2009 compared with September 2008. During the same period, the once dominant MySpace slumped to just 30 percent of overall visits, less than half of the 67 percent share it enjoyed in 2008.

Additionally, Facebook saw its audience grow by around three percent month-on-month from August to September 2009, while MySpace experienced a drop of around three percent, suggesting its audience decline could continue.

Twitter’s meteoric growth has resulted in its share of visits increasing by a whopping 1170 percent year-on-year, but it still accounts for just 1.8 percent of social networking traffic, thereby dwarfed by both Facebook and MySpace. It’s important to note, however, that Hitwise only records traffic through the Twitter.com Web site, and does not include access through popular third-party applications, such as TweetDeck, which are likely to account for a large portion of Twitter’s use.

Tagged received the third largest amount of visits during September 2009 with around 2 percent, and myYearbook rounded out the top five with around 1 percent.

Top Social Networking Sites by Share of U.S. Visitors, September 2009
Rank Name September 2009 (%) August 2009 (%) September 2008 (%) Year-over-year change (%)
1 Facebook 58.59 55.15 19.94 194
2 MySpace 30.26 33.0 66.84 -55
3 Tagged 2.38 2.36 1.62 47
4 Twitter 1.84 1.95 0.15 1170
5 myYearbook 1.05 1.16 1.76 -40
Source: Experian Hitwise

Hitwise found that users continue to spend more time on MySpace than they do Facebook, despite MySpace’s traffic loss. Users spent an average of 26 minutes versus 23 minutes a month, respectively.

Year-on-year, however, MySpace has seen a 12 percent fall in the average amount of time spent on its site, compared with Facebook which has experienced 23 percent growth in that period.

The average time spent per user on the Twitter site has also dropped dramatically, falling 56 percent from over 36 minutes in 2008, to just 16 minutes in September 2009. Again, this drop could be attributed to the migration of use from the Twitter site itself to third-party applications which are used by many of the network’s most active users.

Average Time Per U.S. User Spent on Top Five Social Networking Sites
Rank Name September 2009 (min:sec) September 2008 (min:sec) Year-over-year change (%)
1 Facebook 23:00 18:38 23
2 MySpace 25:56 29:37 -12
3 Tagged 25:17 23:31 8
4 Twitter 15:52 36:27 -56
5 myYearbook 18:07 26:12 -31
Source: Experian Hitwise

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