Facebook UK Audience Doubles over last 12 months


Facebook’s UK audience grew by over 100% during the past 12 months to total 17.6m unique users. This figure concretes the lead over Myspace and Bebo which grew by just 7% and 6% respectively last year.

MySpace UK’s audience now exceeds 5.4m, ahead of youth-focused network Bebo which has 4.3m unique UK users in January, less than a quarter of the premier netowrking site Facebook.

But these dominant figures don’t just stop at vistors or click throughs to the site. The chasm forming between Facebook and its rivals was also seen in the time users spent on each of the social network sites, perhaps more of a real reflection on the quality and usabilty of the experience. Facebook users averaged almost 6 hours a month – i repeat – AVERAGE – a 128% increase on last year, but MySpace dropped nearly 50% with users averaging 47 minutes on the site, pretty good if you take away their much more omnipresent competitor, but dwarfed nonetheless. This figure however is down from one and a half hours the previous year, a high that is still a third of Facebook’s omnipitent position.

Bebo user behaviour remained stable, however, and its members averaging one and a half hours on the site in January 2008 and 2009.

Nielsen Online the stats and web user analysts quite obviously pointed out that Facebook’s online dominance was looking good……

“The growth in time users are spending on the site is particularly impressive considering that it might get huge numbers of people coming to the site to see what all the fuss is about but then finding it’s not for them,” he said. “MySpace is struggling as its audience has plateaued in the last couple of years and has been more of a casualty of Facebook than Bebo.

“Facebook has the audience and users, but conventional wisdom is that MySpace generates more ad revenue. If Facebook gets its demographic targeting right, the potential is enormous,” Burmaster added.

To comment, yes maybe Myspace may have more Ad revenue, but who cares? Facebook have many many more users and five times more stickability – I’d rather have more attention and better quality service than a short term ad capaign, read into that what you like. If Facebook’s whole lifeplan was to make money from ads then it will almost certianly kill the golden goose – so well done Mark for holding off on that.

It seems to me that Myspace has gone down in the recent past because it has suddenly become an advertising revenue source. However, when i first read these figures, i felt for Facebook – like with Google, Apple and Yahoo before them, when a fad becomes mainstream, and then behemoth, it loses its charm, and therefore its appeal, then the corps get involved, then the hackers kick in. Will Facebook go the same way as Myspace and MSN? Who knows, but Twitter you should watch with anticipation.

Author Sam