I can see why its competitors are freaking out! Is Facebook taking over your life??
The overhaul Facebook rolled out last week is meant, first and foremost, to keep users sticking around. But, hyperbole aside, Facebook is already crushing the rest of the Web when it comes to stickiness.
Check out this engagement chart, courtesy of Citigroup’s Mark Mahaney. It’s a neat illustration of the Web 2.0 era, and does a nice job of explaining why Google is so freaked out about Facebook, and why AOL and Yahoo seem to be in eternal turnaround mode. (Note that just a couple of years ago, someone might have thought to include Myspace in here. Remember?)
And from Gizmodo:
Facebook started out as a fun distraction, then it became something integral. And while it’s currently trending towards being an essential part of our lives, will it someday become inescapable? If these graphs are any indicator, then it’s very well possible.
Citi Research conducted a study of the amount of time Americans spent on Facebook. In 2007, Facebook only occupied two percent of people’s days. Fast forward to the present, and it takes up around 16 percent, good for an eightfold increase. Though unlikely, if Facebook’s increase in engagement were to continue at this rate, it would literally consume our entire lives by 2015.
And equally important, as All Things D points out, is how substantially Facebook is outpacing the other major internet players in this category. Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL sites have all been flat or dipping in the amount of time they hold visitors attention. Google’s properties show overall engagement growth, but not nearly as impressive as Facebook’s. The question is, will we come to love and accept Facebook as our central hub for everything internet? Or will they commit some Netflix-esque blunder and cause us all to flee in droves?