I was actually a bit surprised by this when I first heard about it, but Facebook has for the first time ever overtaken the monolith that is the BBC to become the fifth most visited site in the UK.
With an impressive 18.4m uniques in September it’s quite incredible, seeing an 80% YOY increase in traffic whilst BBC fell nearly 3% over the same period.
Although that looks negative, BBC has been hugely successful with it’s rollout of the iPlayer over Christmas last year and it’s subsequent updates improving on an already great platform with the ability to use the iPlayer on such devices like the iPhone / iPod touch and the Nintendo Wii and has definitely changed viewing habits for some, myself included. It’s always good to know if you miss a BBC programme it will more than likely be on there for downloading / streaming when convenient.
When it comes to Facebook, personally I started to see a downturn in my usage from June onwards this year, most likely due to graduating from University and getting on the job ladder. I presume due to the lack of free time it lost it’s stickyness for me as I wasn’t part of the University / Student bubble. For a period I stopped using it so much, as I didn’t have as much time and it wasn’t drawing me back on such a regular basis. I’d check it for a few minutes in the evening and that would be it.
What it lost in it’s stickyness it has gained more recently through it’s chat application. It’s by no means perfect, it’s horribly buggy and says you are offline when you are clearly not for example. It has however taken my time more away from MSN Messenger to using FB Chat. Anyone and everyone is on Facebook so it’s a lot more broad and diverse who you might chance upon talking to..
Back on track –
The top 5 most visited sites in the UK now look like so (over the same period, Oct 08) :-
1. Google 36m uniques
2. Microsoft 32m
3. Yahoo 21m
4. eBay 20m
5. Facebook 18m
It’s probably no surprise the names listed, predominantly search focussed. Facebook is impressively even gaining on eBay though, quite something when you think about it. eBay, the golden child of the dot com boom being caught up by the new kid on the block! Those that thought Facebook was starting to see it’s demise in recent months appear to have been silenced but the golden question still lies unanswered, how are investors going to see some real returns.
It would appear that the almighty Zuckerburg doesn’t have a direct answer to that either instead reiterating the value of building up the brand and the network of users. Nicely deflected! He did however recently mention that Facebook’s global userbase has risen to over 100 million and is also one of the top destinations online for photo sharing.
With that in mind, it would appear that there’s life in the old dog yet!
What do you think? Is Facebook here to stay?