Facebook dislodged Google as the top online destination, with Americans spending more time virtually visiting friends and playing games than they did on all Google's sites combined.
Americans spent 685,000 hours or 41.1 million minutes on Facebook in August, compared with 39.8 million hours spent on Google, according to comScore. Yahoo took the third spot, with 37.7 million minutes, comScore determined. Google said its number of global users crossed 1 billion for the first time last month, said Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney in a research note on these latest monthly traffic figures.
Americans spent about 9.9% of their online time visiting Facebook, comScore said, vs. 9.6% of time on Google's sites, including Gmail, Google search and YouTube. Web surfers in the United States spent approximately 9.1% of their Internet time visiting Yahoo properties, comScore found. These results are based on a combination of reports from 2 million users worldwide and the websites' servers, according to comScore.
Facebook's top-ranking position comes only a month after the social networking site reached 500 million users. In July, Facebook overtook Yahoo for the first time, comScore found.
The average time users spend using Facebook per month grew nearly 10%, topping seven hours, in February, according to The Nielsen Company. By comparison, U.S. web visitors spent 2.29 hours on Yahoo and 1.26 hours on Google plus 1.02 hours on YouTube per month, the research firm found.
The Facebook vs. Google battle heated up in August, with the unveiling of Facebook Places, a way for users to expose their location to other Facebook users and applications and to locate their friends. A month earlier, Google took the wraps off its Places API, which allows developers to add information about local businesses and points of interest to map-related applications.
"Google has been extending the scope of its coverage from the web to the real world, along with others," Ray Valdes, a Gartner analyst, told Information Week at the time. "They're moving not only from web content to the social web but to the web of things and places in the real world. Facebook Places has more of a social dimension while Google Places is more focused on the information dimension. But eventually the two services will converge and become directly competitive."
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