Press Room

Time Spent on Facebook up 700 Percent, but Still Tops for Video, According to Nielsen

New York, US – June 2, 2009 – As theories circulate about the actual dollar value of sites like Facebook and Myspace—just last week analysts placed Facebook’s worth at $10 billion—there is no question that people continue to gravitate towards social networking and blog sites. In the U.S. alone, total minutes spent on social networking sites has increased 83 percent year-over-year. In fact, total minutes spent on Facebook increased nearly 700 percent year-over-year, growing from 1.7 billion minutes in April 2008 to 13.9 billion in April 2009, making it the No. 1 social networking site for the month.

“We have seen some major growth in Facebook during the past year, and a subsequent decline in MySpace. Twitter has come on the scene in an explosive way perhaps changing the outlook for the entire space. The one thing that is clear about social networking is that regardless of how fast a site is growing or how big it is, it can quickly fall out of favor with consumers,” said Jon Gibs, vice president, online media and agency insights. “Remember Friendster? Remember when MySpace was an unbeatable force? Neither Facebook nor Twitter are immune. Consumers have shown that they are willing to pick up their networks and move them to another platform, seemingly at a moment’s notice.”

Top 10 Social Networking and Blog Sites Ranked by Total Minutes for April 2009 and Their Year-over-Year Percent Growth (U.S., Home and Work)

Site Apr-08 Total Minutes (000) Apr-09 Total Minutes (000) Year-over-Year Percent Growth
Facebook 1,735,698 13,872,640 699 7,254,645 4,973,919 -31
Blogger 448,710 582,683 30 29,858 327,871 998 7,865 299,836 3712
MyYearbook 131,105 268,565 105
LiveJournal 54,671 204,121 273
LinkedIn 119,636 202,407 69
SlashKey N/A 187,687 N/A
Gaia Online 173,115 143,909 -17

Source: Nielsen NetView

Myspace Visitors Love Videos–Make it No. 1 Social Networking Site when Ranked by Video Streams
While the popular consensus is that Facebook has become the top dog in the social networking space—April was the fourth month in a row that Facebook held the top spot in both unique visitors and total minutes—Myspace has been winning in one arena: online video. With 120.8 million video streams, was the No. 1 social networking destination when ranked by streams and total minutes spent viewing video. Myspace visitors spent 384 million minutes viewing video on the site, with an average of 38.8 minutes per viewer. In comparison, Facebook visitors spent only 113.5 million minutes viewing video in April, with an average of 11.2 minutes per video viewer.

Top 5 Social Networking and Blog Sites Ranked by Total Video Streams for April 2009 (U.S., Home and Work)

Site Total  Video Streams (000) Time Spent Viewing (000) 120,793 384,030
Facebook 41,537 113,502
Stickam 19,617 54,522 10,206 34,456
Funny or Die 6,503 17,725

Source: Nielsen VideoCensus

“So maybe the better question to ask is who does each site reach–not who is ‘winning.’ What audiences are they drawing and how are they building for the future to maintain the loyalty of their visitors, who to this point have shown little long-term loyalty to any specific platform,” commented Gibs.