Nielsen: Facebook Users Spending 30 Minutes Less There Now Than 6 Months Ago

facebook-logo-smFacebook is still tops when it comes to how much its average users spends on the site, but that time has declined by nearly a half-hour over the past six months. My assumption is that you can blame mobile for that.

The numbers are from Nielsen’s Top 10 web brands list for September 2012.

Nielsen estimates that Facebook users spent about six hours, 40 minutes on the site in September. That’s more than triple the time spent on Yahoo and Google and almost four times the amount of time that users spent on YouTube.

But six months ago, in its March 2012 report, Nielsen estimated time spent on Facebook at almost seven hours, 10 minutes — a half-hour more than the September number. Here are the two charts for comparison, starting with September’s data.



The decline is likely due to increasing mobile use, which I don’t think is included in Nielsen’s data (just as it’s not included in other measurement services’ reports). In its most recent earnings report, Facebook says it had 604 million monthly active mobile users — about 60 percent of its overall user base.

Back to the Nielsen numbers for September — no big surprise to see the top five sites/brands.

Nielsen says Google’s U.S. audience was just under 175 million people, about 21.5 million more than used Facebook during the month. Yahoo, YouTube and MSN/Windows Live/Bing rounded out the top five and were the only properties with more than 100 million users total. Those were the same top five six months ago, but MSN/Windows Live/Bing has switched places with YouTube since then.

Also interesting are the data that Nielsen shared related to typical U.S. internet usage in September. The average person spent about 28.5 hours online in 63 sessions/visits, visited 95 domains and looked at more than 2,500 web pages during the month. All of those numbers are down slightly from six months ago.

Postscript: This story has been edited to correct “28.5 minutes” in the final paragraph to “28.5 hours.”

Related Topics: Channel: Strategy | Facebook | Facebook: Statistics | Social Media Marketing | Statistics | Statistics: Popularity & Usage | Statistics: Social Media | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Alan

    Wonder how much less time G+ users are spending at G+ than 6 months ago?

  • Jeff Downer Indianapolis IN

    Actually I’m spending more time on Google+ these days.

  • Nathan Levi

    I’ve been spending less time on Facebook because I find the whole environment cluttered with advertising. I think many facebook users have experienced this and as a result are spending less time there.

  • George M.

    It held steady around zero.

  • Alan

    Yes people with interest in SEO and Google employees hang out at G+ but thats about it

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