Facebook and Twitter clearly surpassed all other major social networks in US year-over-year growth during March 2010, according to data from The Nielsen Company.
In March 2010, Facebook reported 117.1 million unique US users at home and work. This represented 69% year-over-year growth from 69.1 million unique US users in March 2009, according to MarketingCharts.
While Twitter only reported 20.1 million unique US users in March 2010, this still represented strong 45% year-over-year growth from 13.8 million unique users in March 2009. It is also worth noting that Twitter had a negligible 520,000 unique users in March 2008.
Myspace.com had the second-highest total unique US audience in March 2010 with 42.1 million users. However, this represented a roughly 25% drop from 55.9 million unique users in March 2009. As recently as March 2008, Myspace.com was the undisputed leader among major US social networks, with 61.3 million unique users. LinkedIn and Classmates Online reported US unique audience declines of 12% and 30%, respectively, between March 2009 and March 2010.
LinkedIn's March 2010 unique audience total of 13.9 million is still almost double its March 2008 total of 7.9 million, while Classmates Online has lost about 15% of its unique audience in that time (13.6 million to 11.5 million, with a bump to 16.4 million in March 2009).
Global SocNet Traffic Dramatically Rises
Globally, more unique users spent far more time on social networks in March 2010 than in March 2009. Unique audience grew about 20% globally, from 261.7 million to 313.7 million. Total global minutes spent on social networks more than doubled, from 55.7 billion to 113.1 billion. Average time spent per user grew about 45%, from three hours, 32 minutes and 49 seconds to six hours and 25 seconds.
SocNet Usage Rises in Feb.
On average, global web users across 10 countries spent roughly five and a half hours on social networks in February 2010, up more than two hours from February 2009, according to previous data from Nielsen. Overall, the active unique audience to social networks grew nearly 30%, from 244.2 million in February 2009 to 314.5 million in February 2010.
Facebook was clearly the most popular social network globally in February 2010. Facebook’s reach extended to 52% of active social network users, and the site averaged 19.16 sessions per person and time spent of five hours and 52 minutes per person.