Los Angeles — Hitwise, a market analytics firm that tracks online stats, has some good news for the team at Facebook. The popular social-networking entity Facebook hit an audience milestone recently when it was crowned as the most visited site in the U.S., for the first time on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, topping Google, according to research firm Hitwise.
Those two days mark the first time Facebook has historically gotten a traffic spike during the holidays. It seems that people flocked to Facebook to send season’s greetings to friends and families, and all of that traffic catapulted the popular social networking site to the most visited site on the Internet. This was a first for the site in its history according to the statistics tracking company Hitwise.
(Hitwise reported that it reached an earlier all-time high on Christmas last year too.)
While Facebook ranks in as the third most visited site for the year, it is the most searched on term across all search engines for 2009. Capturing the Christmas traffic fight is still a nice feather in its cap seeing as Google, a company some see as being Facebook’s arch rival in the years to come, was the most visited site in the same time period in 2008.
To tap that market and prove itself to large brands, Facebook needs to prove traffic and engagement. Facebook has more than doubled in size this year, surpassing 350 million users. Some of Facebook’s own statistics are even scarier: the average user spends 55 minutes a day on the site.
It makes sense that Facebook would surely reap the benefits from the social nature of any major holiday, especially Christmas, as people turn to the site to send greetings, share photos and otherwise connect with friends and family.