Social Networks

Social networks received more UK Internet visits than search engines for the first time May
Facebook accounts for 55% of all social networking traffic in the UK
Google UK remains the most popular website overall

London, 8 June 2010 – Experian Hitwise, the leading online competitive intelligence service, today reveals that social networks now receive more UK Internet visits than search engines. During May, social networks accounted for 11.88% of UK Internet visits and search engines accounted for 11.33%. May was the first ever month that social networks have been more popular than search engines in the UK.

 

Continuing to grow

“Social networks are a key part of the online landscape in the UK, and their popularity continues to grow,” commented Robin Goad, Research Director for Experian Hitwise. “Although social networks and search engines perform different functions, they both act as gateways to the wider Internet. This data perfectly illustrates the key role that social media now plays in so much online behaviour.”

 

Full potential of social media

“The majority of online marketing spend is currently diverted towards search, and this is likely to remain the case in the short to medium term,” continued Goad. “Search remains the primary source of traffic for most websites, particularly in sectors that account for the majority of online transactions, such as retail, finance and travel. Many marketers and brand owners have yet to grasp the full potential of social media marketing, but spending on the channel will increase as more proven success stories emerge. There will be particular opportunities for sectors that have traditionally struggled with online and remained tied to traditional media, such as FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) and automotive.

Facebook accounts for 55% of all social networking traffic in the UK, Google UK remains the most popular website overall

Facebook (www.facebook.co.uk) accounts for 55% of all UK social networking visits, almost three times as many as the next most popular social network, YouTube (www.youtube.com). Twitter, one of the fastest growing and most talked about websites of the last two years, is now the third most popular social network in the UK, putting it ahead of former favourites such as Bebo and MySpace.

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