Internet Traffic Shifts to Social Networks

The successes of Facebook and YouTube, along with similar sites, meant that social networks accounted for 1 in every 10 U.K. internet visits during Christmas week 2008.

Facebook traffic reached a new high on Christmas Day 2008, when Britain's most popular social-networking site accounted for 1 in every 22 UK internet visits, according to web analyst Hitwise. With a market share of 4.65 percent, Facebook's traffic was up 69 percent on Christmas Day 2007, and it was the second most visited website after Google UK (8.63 percent).

Video site YouTube received more UK internet traffic than Microsoft Windows Live Mail (Hotmail) for the first time during Christmas week 2008. For the week ending December 27, 2008, YouTube accounted for 2.13 percent of all UK Internet visits compared to 2.11 percent for Live Mail. During the same week, YouTube was the third most visited website in the UK behind Google UK and Facebook, while Live Mail ranked fourth.

For the week ending December 27, 2008, the 'Computers and Internet - Social Networking and Forums' category accounted for 10.09 percent of all UK internet visits, the first ever time it has passed the 10 percent threshold. Over the past 12 months traffic to the category has increased by 20 percent, and it now ranks behind only Entertainment, Search Engines and Shopping and Classifieds in terms of UK internet visits.

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