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Oct 10, 2008

Facebook is number 2 website among 10 million

Facebook is number 2 website, but the growth of social networks is slowing

Of the 10,583,351 websites visited by UK Internet users in September, Facebook was the second most popular after Google UK. The number one social network in Britain received 3.16% of all UK Internet visits last month, equivalent to one in every 32. For the 4 weeks ending 27/09/08, one in every 50 UK Internet searches was for the single term ‘facebook’,

top 10 uk websites september 2008 Google Facebook Hotmail ebay MSN YouTube Bebo Yahoo BBC.png

Facebook’s success in the UK (and many other markets) is undeniable, and - as the chart below illustrates - the growth hasn’t stopped yet. However, it has slowed: traffic to the site increased by 4% between August and September this year, down from 50% over the same period last year. The site’s annual growth rate remains impressive at 88% between September 2007 and 2008, but was significantly less than the 2905% it experienced the previous year.

UK Internet traffic to Facebook 2005 2006 2007 2008 chart.png

Another ominous sign is that Facebook’s average session time has flattened out at 20 minutes; both MySpace and Bebo experienced a fall in average session time in tandem with their declining UK market share. So, Facebook has a while to go yet, but there is no doubt that its growth is slowing. Of course, social networking is about more than just one site – we recorded visits to over 7,000 during September – so what about the market as a whole?

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