While Facebook.com trailed Google in unique US monthly audience during February 2011, the average Facebook user spent substantially more time on the site than any users of any other sites, according to new data from The Nielsen Company. Google had a unique audience of about 147.9 million, 13% more than Facebook’s unique audience of about 130.8 million.
Time is On Facebook’s Side
The average Facebook user spent about six hours and 36 minutes on the site during February 2010. That is roughly triple the average monthly time of two hours and 10 minutes on Yahoo, the site with next-highest average minutes total. Google ranked fifth at one hour and 15 minutes.
Multi-category, Map Sites Dominate Travel Category
Map and multi-category sites remain the most popular type of travel websites; Google Maps led the way with 67.3 million unique US visitors in February 2011, followed by MapQuest (24.7 million) and Yahoo Local (13.1 million). Despite the shorter month, both MapQuest and Yahoo Local saw slight increases in the average time visitors spent on their site.
Map sites account for four of the 10 most popular travel sites, while multi-category travel sites – led by Expedia, account for half of the top 10. Southwest Airlines, at sixth, is the sole airline represented in the top 10 during February 2011.
Multi-category travel sites TripAdvisor and Orbitz were the only other two among the top 10 to see an increase in the average amount of time (16.7% and 10.9%, respectively) visitors spent on the site compared to the longer January 2011 month.
Overall MOM Web Usage Down
Month-over-month unique audience and average time spent figures were down, in some cases by more than 10% (and approaching 20% for certain travel sites), for all the top 10 web brands and six of the top 10 travel sites. Overall US web usage figures for February 2011 demonstrate these trends follow the norm.
For example, in February, the average US web user had 54 sessions, down 8.4% from 59 the prior month. Domains visited dropped 8.1%, from an average of 99 to 91 per person. There were also declines in month-over-month average per person figures for web page views, PC time, duration of web page viewed, and active digital media universe. The current digital media universe stayed virtually flat at a little less than 300 million.
Google, Yahoo UA Down, Facebook UA Up from Feb. ’10
While February being a short month is likely a reason for at least some of the generally decreased topline statistics compared to the prior month, a year-over-year comparison of Nielsen data shows Google had more visitors in February 2010. Google also held the largest unique web audience in February, but at almost 154 million it was about 5% higher than Google’s February 2011 audience.
Meanwhile, Facebook, ranked third among web brands in February 2010, grew its year-over-year unique audience 10%, from 118.8 million to 130.8 million. This allowed it to switch places with February 2010 number two Yahoo, which lost about 6% of its unique audience of 134.1 million, recording about 126.5 million in February 2011.