Facebook Becomes the Number 1 Site in the US for Christmas

Its reign lasted only a couple of days but it may be a sign of things to come

By on 29 Dec 2009, 15:01 GMT
Which is the most popular web site in the US? Normally, if you'd answer Google, you'd be right. On Christmas day though, it looks like Facebook managed to pull off the seemingly impossible, dethroning Google as the most visited online destination. At least that's what analytics firm Hitwise is saying, interestingly enough, on Twitter.

"Facebook was the most visited site in the US on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 1st time the site has been the #1 visited US site ever," Hitwise wrote in a tweet. Of course, this was just for two days and Google isn't in any immediate danger of being overtaken by the social network.

The most recent numbers show that Facebook is the fourth largest site in the US having just passed AOL last month. Google, Yahoo and Microsoft sites still manage to get well over 100 million unique visitors every month in the US and Facebook still has some work cut out before challenging these top players.

If it manages to keep up the growth it has been seeing, especially in the past year, the time when Facebook is the number one site in the US may come soon enough, perhaps even next year. And with no sign of slowing down, it may very well reach this goal.

In fact, when it comes to individual sites, which is what Hitwise is measuring, Facebook is the third largest in the US behind only Yahoo Mail and Google Search. Even if growth slows down, it's starting to look like it's only a matter of time before the social network takes the top spot. Considering that Facebook had a little over 50 million visitors this time last year and is now past 100 million, the outcome seems inevitable.

The fact that Facebook was the most popular site on Christmas though can be explained by the nature of the service itself. Google is primarily a tool used to get access to information. With most people home for Christmas, usage at the work place took a big dive. Moreover, it is to be expected that the time people did spend on their computers in those couple of days would be geared more towards their friends and family, meaning Facebook, rather than looking something up on Google.

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Facebook's reign lasted only a couple of days but it may be a sign of things to come
   Facebook's reign lasted only a couple of days but it may be a sign of things to come