Over the next twelve months, the media industry is likely to be split between those who master the Facebook system and those who don’t. A decade or so ago, for a print publication, going on the internet was seen as the best way to rejuvenate its audience; today, as web news audiences reach a plateau, Facebook is viewed as the most potent traffic booster.
If you are looking for the ultimate cyber black hole, point your browser toward Facebook. Beyond the 500 million users milestone, even more significant gravitational pull await the media industry. Here are facts to keep in mind.
— While the average online newspaper is viewed about 30 minutes per month (see data from the NAA), users spend 12 times more on Facebook: a worldwide average of 5hrs 52 minutes, 6hrs 02 minutes in the United States and 4hrs 12 minutes in France. Globally, social networks represent about 10% of the total internet time; and 2/3 of the internet population visit one such network at least once a month. And the growth is about 30% per year; in three years, that’s 220%, a multiplication by 2.2!
— Facebook dwarfs other social networks: worldwide, measured in time per month, it weighs 6 times MySpace, and 12 times twitter and 30 times LinkedIn.
— Of the half billion users, 250 million are logging every day, for about 34 minutes.
— Just as important, or more, 150 million access Facebook through their mobile phone.
— In June alone, on the US market, users spend more time on Facebook than on sites owned by Google, Microsoft and Yahoo combined (source: Nielsen).
Update Aug.2: Nielsen just released this study showing that American spend 23% of their internet time on social media, vs. 16% a year ago.
The time spent numbers are always spectacular… but some view those as misleading considering how users interact with Facebook: uploading videos or photographs takes inherently more time than glancing over Google News. Granted. Let’s then consider more media related metrics. More