Figures published by online research firm Nielsen Online show that social networking behemoth Facebook has more than doubled in size during the last 12 months, further widening the gap with the likes of Myspace and Bebo.
Facebook had 17.6 million unique users in January 2009, that's nearly twice the size of Bebo and Myspace combined (at 4.3 million and 5.4 million unique UK users respectively). At this rate, it is likely that Facebook exerts an even bigger domination in the UK social networking sector than Google in the search arena.
The growth of Myspace and Bebo, over the 12 months to January 2009, were comparatively small at 7 percent and 6 percent. More worrying is the amount of time users spent per month of those websites. Facebook users spent roughly about 12 minutes per day while Myspace aficionados remained on the site for only 90 seconds on average per day.
Facebook's time on site is up by 128 percent year on year, Myspace's down by half over the same period. Multiplying unique users by time spent on site makes frightening reading for the rest of the competition - including Google. Facebook users spend a cumulative total of 24.64 million hours per week on the site in the UK alone. Myspace? Just under 1 million hours over the same period.
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At the beginning of the month, Mashable (via Compete) was reporting that Facebook was nearly 20 percent bigger than Myspace in the US, reaching 68.5 million people, 10 millon more than Myspace. Now Facebook only needs to find out how to make money from all this traffic.