The Facebook phenomenon continues. According to a recent ClickZ.com report, FB’s unique visitors in January 2010, at a total of 133.6MM, was second only to the mighty Google. Indeed, throughout 2009 FB’s unique visitors climbed at a record pace through June, then leveled somewhat, but rose nonetheless through the remainder of the year to surpass Yahoo (132MM unique visitors in Jan 2010) and pull up snugly behind Google (147.8MM). (ref: http://www.clickz.com/3636533)
Why is this important? The numbers above represent people who are using FB every day. These are not merely people who signed up and have dormant accounts. What’s even more interesting is the amount of time these active users spend on the site. “Data from Nielsen says that U.S. Facebook users now spend an average of seven hours per month on the site. In January, the time spent on Facebook grew by nearly 10 percent in one month. Meanwhile, the average time spent on Google (GOOG) dropped 17 percent to around an hour and a half.” (ref: http://bit.ly/aETMUK)
What are people spending all that time on Facebook doing? They build their networks, connect with friends and family, keep in touch, etc. But much more importantly, they use the site to do things that they formerly did on several other sites or with the software on their desktop computers, including chat, commerce, posting photos and videos, and even email. Why go to other sites when almost everything you need, and all the people you want to share things with, are on FB?
Which brings up the final point: With upwards of 300MM people registered, FB is reaching a tipping point. Odds are more likely than ever that if you want to find/connect/communicate with someone, you’ll find them on Facebook. And where the people are is where the markets are.
Markets are moving online. Now that people are readily available on Facebook, businesses will be moving with them. But “going on Facebook” requires learning the values, rules, behavior, and mores first. Businesses that successfully do this will find they have the best advertising possible — the only advertising that will succeed in the not-too-distant future — word of mouth ( “word of mouse?”). With everyone connected, we’ll see our customers become our sales forces since they’ll be swift to tell others the story about how well we’re serving them.