back to article Netizens now Facebook more than they Google

US netizens are now spending more time on Facebook than on all of Google's sites combined, according to the latest data from online research outfit comScore. As the AP reports, comScore says that US net users spent 41.1 million minutes on Facebook, or about 9.9 per cent of their total web surfing. By comparison, they spent 39. …


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  1. M H

    Statistics & Grammar

    I couldn't care less about the stats but "Facebook" and "Google" are proper nouns, not verbs.

    1. JaitcH

      In American English anything goes

      You shouldn't be so fastidious, we're talking about the States here and in their variant of the English language anything goes!

      It's like saying they even have 'culture'.

      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge


        American English is a dialect of English that split off in the mid 18th century, or thereabouts and it retains much of the character of English from that period. There are far fewer words (English didn't really start looting vocabulary until the 19th century, when we had all those Imperial holdings and such) and it has a much looser grammar. Back then nouns and verbs could be interchanged (and adjectivised) with relative ease; English, like every other language, has plenty of verbs that are derived from nouns, and nouns derived from verbs. The difference is that, in the intervening period, British English began deriving new verbs and nouns by adopting them wholesale from foreign languages as we took over large chunks of the planet, whilst American English retained the concept of deriving verbs, nouns and adjectives from within its existing vocabulary. As it adopted new vocabulary the act of derivation from within continued, turning nouns into verbs (hover -> hoovering; google -> to google) and both into adjectives (to fail -> a fail -> the fail boat).

        Both languages still do this, but American English does it much more obviously because it's still essentially 18th century in character. This is just how languages work.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          What a load of bollocks

          Phony erudition combined with imperial delusions... maybe Blighty is indeed beyond repair. In the first place the English language was already taking words from other languages well before the brief period of the British Empire (yes it was brief, one century and a half does not even compare to the Roman Empire or many others). For example, "mosquito" was taken from Spanish and England has never ruled over Spain.

          Second and more important, the British Empire is long gone, get over it!

          1. Graham Dawson Silver badge


            Oh get over yourself you twit. I was trying to explain why it's stupid to bash American english and I went with a simplified historical narrative to do so. If I'd put in every caveat and historical tidbit (american English deriving new words from native languages, British english taking words wholesale from modern German etcetera ad nauseum ad infinitum) I would have been writing all night. You've managed to grab the wrong end of the stick so effectively that you're in a different tree.

            1. Anonymous Coward

              @Graham Dawson

              "Simplified" historical narrative, huh? That is usually spin for re-writing history. How did you like the historical "simplifications" in Braveheart?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Graham Dawson

          "Fail" in "the fail boat" is not an adjective, any more than "machine" in "machine parts". It's just attributive usage.

          1. Graham Dawson Silver badge


            Yes it is. An adjective is a word who's primary syntactic role is to modify a noun or pronoun to provide more information about it, which is what an attributive does. The clue is that it can also be predicative. A sausage factory isn't sausage (the attributive noun "sausage" can't be predicative), but a fail boat is fail (the attributive adjective "fail" can also be predicative, like "smart" - that boat is smart. That is a smart boat).

            1. Anonymous Coward

              a debate about grammar?

              I better get my boner warmed up for this one.

      2. Charles Manning

        Have you been beveraged?

        That's what I was asked on United Airlines a few years ago by one of the people handing out drinks.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          My favorite line nowadays here in the US

          At a restaurant: "How is your food tasting?' Since when does food taste?? Should be, "Are you enjoying your food?"

          Next in line for stupid US Tricks: "1983 Camaro. Runs Good." Yeah, Good and never committed a sin in it's life.

          However, it is a fact that many nouns soon become verbs. For example: Email me, Fax me, Ring me.

          The word F**K can be anything. See George Carlin for more examples.

    2. strangefish


      Sorry but google is now listed as a verb as well...sickening isn't it?

      1. strangefish

        more titling for the titlers

        of course the same people who moan about googling are probably quite happy to have someone do their hoovering

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      For once ...

      ... I agree with pedantry. I've hated the "Google" verb right from the time when it really was just a nifty search engine.

      1. Steve 114

        Bing dong, the Witch...

        Only "Bing" is worse.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      @m h : you must work for one of these companies

      and are paranoid that you'll lose your trademark. Either that, or you just enjoy pissing into the wind.

      "to google" is now accepted as a verb whether you like it or not.

      "to facebook" will quite possibly go the same way.

      You can't stop people using words in the way they want to. Have a Paris icon; feel free to photoshop it.

      1. Martin 71 Silver badge


        In the title they're capitalized. You don't capitalize verbs like that, just proper nouns.

        Beer, it's a weekend, enjoy

  2. Stewart Atkins

    Isn't less time better for google?

    Seeing as google's working so hard to reduce the amount of time the average search takes, wouldn't 'not being top' be a good thing?

  3. Iain 15

    No conclusion

    (More @comScore than @Reg) What are we trying to prove here? Facebook includes certain 'games' whereas google doesn't. I clock a lot more hours playing CoD than 'using' Norton, but what does that prove? Nothing. Try comparing like with like in future.

  4. Hardersen

    Most popular is always the best

    Just look at TV-show ratings... and page load times.

    1. Disco-Legend-Zeke
      Thumb Up

      Traffic Is...

      ...the new Money.

      And Money buys content delivery infrastructure..

  5. welshalan

    The horse has bolted!

    Why are they wasting their time, it's far too late in the game now. Facebook has the user base. Why would anyone sign up to any other social networking site when facebook does what they want and all of their "friends" are already there.

    Google don't have to just migrate the individual from facebook, they have to migrate the whole group of friends so that the social networking continues unhindered.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Stupid is as stupid does

      'facebook does what they want and all of their "friends" are already there'

      Indeed. They are doing an admirable job of collecting most of the world's retards together in one place. I'm not sure what the next step is, but I'm hoping for the sake of humanity that they have developed some kind of mass sterilisation facebook application.

    2. BingBong

      500,000,000 can't be wrong...

      No, wait, they can.

      Go on poke me, I dare you.

  6. Wibble

    Certain demographics only?

    That only applies to certain demographics. Like those with Facebook accounts and of those, the ones who actively take part in their network.

    In short, mostly younger people.

    Statistics, damned statistics and lies. Probably propagated by the FaceBook PR company. Again.

    Citation please. Base data too.

    1. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge

      It's no longer kids, it seems.

      Cum grano salis... can't really tell how precisely they arrive at those numbers.

    2. Paul Coen


      I saw a report last January that pointed out that only 26% of Facebook's US users were between 18 and 25. Those 26 was to 65 accounted for 60%, and the 13-17 crowd was 11%.

      I suspect many in the over-25 crowd are using it to keep up with family, friends from high school or college, friends from places they used to live and who have moved away. As someone else pointed out, that's Google's problem - they have to bring over entire groups of people.

      There's a chunk of the older US population that has really settled on Facebook. I've seen friends and family who were uninterested in Facebook pressured into signing up because a large percentage of their social circle is using it to exchange news and keep in touch.

      The tendency for Americans in some income brackets to relocate as they get older - move far away from friends and family for jobs, school, etc., probably makes Facebook a good tool for keeping in touch with a lot of people at once.

  7. Imagus
    Big Brother


    I guess this means that Google will just have to buy Facebook when the time is right. Or at the very least become "partners" with them, so they can share their oh so valuable user profiles and databases.

    Just wait and see.

    1. MineHandle


      Hmm, I thought Facebook already partners with Microsoft? So we're talking about a great alliance of Google, Facebook and Microsoft? Sort of Lord of the Rings style?

  8. blackworx

    And yet, even in the USA...

    ...for some unknown reason people insist on spending infinitely more time doing other things.

    Facebook top bitch Mark Zuckerberg was reported yesterday as having said something which, when translated into English, went something like: "we need to figure out how to get our users to stop tweeting/masturbating the rest of the time and get their asses on Facebook 24 hours a fucking day. Perhaps we can do this by palming off some more of their info to mind numbing Flash 'game' developers. We need the next Farmville people, and this time we ain't farming animals, we're farming bitchez."

  9. JaitcH

    No wonder America is failing - everyone's staring at a screen

    There are possible, logical, answer to this.

    Maybe the mass of unemployed Americans are using FB to look for work / employment connections or, having nothing to do, just hang around FB.

    Some companies are now blocking FB as their employees also spend hours on FB, whilst getting paid, and doing nothing productive.

    Interestingly, some of the booming Asian economies, where so much of the West's stuff gets manufactured, actually block access to FB.

    1. Charles Manning

      ... or watching TV

      If you're into conspiracies then that would explain why Sony has invested so much in the movie making industry. Turn all the American brains into mush and they'll be a walkover.

      1. Catroast


        The public school systems in the US have been doing that for years.

  10. Eddy Ito

    Orkut and Buzz and Google Me? Oh my.

    Finally the GOOG catches on and starts talking to the game makers but what is with their naming engine? Talk about sucking sewage through a straw. First they have fish Orkut bait followed by an irritating sound made by blood sucking insects and now Google Me? What the hell is that, Millennial edition, Moose & elk, Mostly excrement? Call it "Google Spot" and you've got a short version folks are bound to remember. Why they'll come again and again exploring every niche it has to offer. Heck, it could even have a little side bar so visitors could... well, play with each other. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Good luck getting that domain though.

  11. ratfox

    How about comparing web page downloads?

    Staring at the same page for 5 minutes has less worth than clicking through 10 pages in two minutes, in my book...

  12. Anonymous Coward

    There's a lot...

    of "dumb schmucks" in the world...

    After removing myself from Facebook some time back, due to privacy concerns and the fact that I really don't want to keep up to date with someone I knew in school 20 years ago, the great irony is, as a web developer, part of my job is building wretched FBML pages for clients.

    Perhaps we should update the old saying "Death & Taxes" to "Death, Taxes & Facebook" .. :(

    Trying to put a finger on why I dislike Facebook so much is complicated. Ultimately, I dislike the intentions behind it - there's nothing wrong with making a buck on the net, but there's definitely something suspect about a website so entrenched in the public psyche that serves up oodles of exceptionally dodgy content.

    As a paranoid geek, I have massive distrust of the security of Facebook - it's an identity thief's wet dream.

    There also just a little bit of "this is my playground" petulance behind my feelings too - everyone thought I was a total geek when I raved about the www back in '94 - now everyone, their dog, granny, dimwit brother and milkman is online.

  13. raisinette2d8

    The figures are off by 17,000 X !

    This blogger has it right, everyone else is smokin' ganja:

    Facebook users spend half a second a day on the site! Hahahahaha

    1. J 3

      Maybe, maybe not...

      Yes, the numbers are absurd, but... have you seen ComScores' original statistics and methods? I haven't, they are probably for pay. I can't be arsed to search really. I'm speculating here.

      But it could very well be that something got "lost in translation" there, either in ComScores' reports, or the media's (considering the average quality of journalists regarding "technical" things like basic statistics' concepts and science, it wouldn't be surprising). I don't know how ComScores monitors these things, but if it is like the old time TV audience stats, they would be monitoring a certain amount of (hopefully) representative users instead of the whole population, and counting the usage patterns of *those people only*. You know, the type of thing statisticians do -- because if you observe the WHOLE population it's not statistics, it's a census.

      So, maybe the 40 or so million minutes where spent by the sample monitored, NOT by all the possible users summed, and someone screwed the pooch in the reporting of the whole thing. The significant numbers then would be the *percentage* of time spent in which activity, which should be the same as for the whole set of users represented by that sample (if it was selected appropriately).

      It would be interesting to know what the truth actually is in this case. Just for laughs.

    2. JaitcH

      Numbers distort the truth

      How many dead FB accounts are there? How many are accessed monthly/weekly/daily?

      One group finds FB useful - drug dealers and smugglers, who also use Lonely Planet as few countries block it.

  14. Craig 2


    Ah, but how much time is a Facebook tab open but not actually being used? If I picked certain people, their Facebook `logged in` time might be 12+ hrs a day! (Same argument could also apply to Google services like Gmail though.)

    As for brand names etc being turned into verbs, words like Google and Hoover make ideal new verbs because they don't have an existing meaning. (They also are simple and efficient to enunciate) Anybody who starts saying "facebook me" deserves a good slap.

    1. Robert E A Harvey
      Thumb Up

      will this do for a title?

      "Anybody who starts saying "facebook me" deserves a good slap."

      Well, given that we have *facepalm* and *headdesk* to imply low-impact percussive events, presumably *facebook* carries similar implications, only involving a 2nd party giving someone a thwack with e.g. a telephone directory.

      And a good idea too.

  15. Chris Curtis

    This article is a FRAUD!

    I thought this article interesting until...

    YAHOO! NEARLY HAS AS MANY MINUTES AS GOOGLE? Now I know this article is a complete crock of %#!T. No offence to the journalist who is obviously just quoting figures he has been given, but come on. Google - 96% of the search market and youtube - HOW can this be closely followed by Yahoo?

    Oh I get it. It's that damn Yahoo! bar that somehow installs itself and changes your homepage. People fire up their browser, the clock strikes hometime so they decide not to check their facebook, and hey presto! Yahoo! minutes are up!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The article speaks of Google social networking NOT search.... reading comprehension is a valuable skill.

  16. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!

    i'd be interested...

    To see a FaceBook v Porn comparison... (Yes, I know it's not feasible, but even so!)

    Seriously tho, as someone mentioned above, I do wonder if this is 'active' FB time, or includes 'open on another tab' time as well. Back in the days before FB & MySpace I was on a precursor, and would be logged in on one window, whilst using other windows, and would just flick over to check messages etc every half hour or so.

    <-it's Monday, after 3 1/2 weeks off!

  17. Gordon Pryra

    Apples and Oranges

    The average Google site takes you 3 seconds to view (do I have a new mail? no? then close the browser)

    or 5 seconds to type in the keyphrase and then click off to the chosen search item the user goes, Google app now closed..

    If users spent as long on Google products as they do on Facebook (for example) then the Google product would be broken.

    As an aside, I doubt Google are to worried about Facebook. No one clicks on Facebook ads and the demographic viewing them don't have credit cards to play with so the revenues from them are low to none.

    Just look at what is actually advertised on Facebook, its all the same stuff you used to see spammed at you in e-mails until the filers got decent.

  18. Disco-Legend-Zeke
    Thumb Up

    I Recall A...

    ...chapter about why we say IBM instead of International Business Machines, but Ford instead of FMC.

    American English Users adopt the pronounciation, abbreviations, acronyms, and contractions that most easily roll off the tongue. Google and Hoover are superior to search for or vacuum partly because they are easier to say. They are also more fun to say because they have oo sound in the middle of the first syllable.

    Well Said, C 2

  19. James 5


    The phrase "Get a life" comes to mind....

  20. Rogerborg

    How do you measure time "on"?

    The missus has Facebook on her screen pretty much constantly while she's knitting or petting cats or whatever it is that she does down at the distaff end of the sofa. Doesn't mean she's paying any attention to it though, other than when a new knitting pattern pops up or one of her friends announces that she's squeezed out another sprog.

  21. Psmiffy
    Thumb Up

    "You've managed to grab the wrong end of the stick so effectively that you're in a different tree."

    Well done sir, you deserver a medal

    1. James Hughes 1

      I agree...

      Defo. a medal for that statement. I shall use it with pride.

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  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A solid alternative to the social sites

    You do not need to use social networking sites like faceplant, twatser, or goggle at all.

    Here's some new concepts that are much less hassle, are safer, are more enjoyable, usually take less time, and most people actually enjoy these other methods.

    Face to face discussion (what a concept!)


    Postal mail

    There are more sophisticated methods that require more common sense:


    Discussion boards (last resort for the really lonely)

    There really isn't any other mechanism needed beyond these simple and relatively safe methods.

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