Compete: Facebook Overtakes Yahoo as #1

Last Updated Mar 11, 2009 12:12 PM EDT

Every analytics site has its own methodology, which naturally leads them to draw different conclusions from what would seem to be the same datasets, so quoting any one of them in a story needs to couched within that caveat.

That said, today's report from is headlined by an item a little too juicy for even a skeptic of such reports to ignore. According to the analytics service, last month Facebook became the new leader in the in terms of the percentage of time spent online by Americans, supplanting the long-time top site, Yahoo.
Compete's data indicates that Facebook's usage soared 17.5 percent in February (314.1 percent over the past year), while Yahoo's dipped 2.1 percent for the month (and 22.6 percent over the year.) This resulted in Facebook acquiring just under 6 percent (5.92) of the overall U.S. online audience time as opposed to Yahoo's 5.21 percent.

A couple interesting data points, for those who like to reflect upon comparative markers on a more granular level. Compete measures a total 3,829 sub-domains for Yahoo compared with 631 for Facebook, which indicates that Yahoo is six times bulkier in pure web colonization than is the social networking site.

Compete also compiles 1,173, 284 keywords for Yahoo, which is more than twice as many as it recognizes for Facebook (500, 957). Conclusions? Facebook is doing far more with far less and is growing so much more rapidly than Yahoo that one can safely conclude that the Era of the Portal, which originated in the Web 1.0 years, has officailly now given way to the Social Web Era, conveniently known as 2.0.

All of this in the shortest month of the year!

  • David Weir

    David Weir is a veteran journalist who has worked at Rolling Stone, California, Mother Jones, Business 2.0, SunDance, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, MyWire, 7x7, and the Center for Investigative Reporting, which he cofounded in 1977. He’s also been a content executive at KQED, Wired Digital,, and Excite@Home. David has published hundreds of articles and three books,including "Raising Hell: How the Center for Investigative Reporting Gets Its Story," and has been teaching journalism for more than 20 years at U.C. Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and Stanford.