For all the talk about Facebook’s value, the decline of Myspace and Bebo, and Twitter’s flattening website traffic you could be forgiven for thinking that social networking was yesterday’s story. In fact, as the Nielsen charts below show, the truth is very different, and they actually grew faster in 2009 than they did in 2008 – both in terms of unique visitors and time spent on site. (Hat tip to my friend Ian Delaney for the pointer).
Facebook is of course the grand-daddy of them all. Its 206m unique visitors in December is 67% of total social media users, although there are of course many people who use more than one site.
As Ian points out on his TwoPointOuch blog the other interesting thing about this data is that five hours per month on a social network isn’t very long. American’s apparently watch 4 hours of TV every day, on average.