A report by online competitive intelligence service Experian Hitwise has shown that social networking sites received more UK visits during May than search engines.
It's the first time that social networks have been more popular than search engines.
The data shows that the social networking sites account for 11.88 per cent of all websites visited by UK internet users, half a per cent higher than the 11.33 per cent of search engines. (http://www.hitwise.com/uk/press-centre/press-releases/social-media-alert-june-2010/ )
Experian noted that Facebook attracted 7.07 per cent of web users, as compared to Google's 7.03 per cent of online visits.
Robin Goad, research director for Experian Hitwise, stated (opens in new tab): "Social networks are a key part of the online landscape in the UK, and their popularity continues to grow."
He went on to say: “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."
Despite this, Google's UK search page still remains the most popular individual website in the UK, accounting for 9.2 per cent of all visits.