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The Internet Google Social Networks Yahoo! Technology

Facebook Surpasses Google For Users' Online Time 159

Posted by Soulskill
from the guess-they-should-make-their-searches-take-longer dept.
crimeandpunishment writes "When it comes to our time online, socializing beats searching. According to new data from researchers at comScore Inc., Facebook has moved ahead of Google for the first time in Web users' minutes. In August, people spent more than 41 million minutes on Facebook, compared to just under 40 million for all of Google's sites combined. Yahoo came in third, with 37.7 million minutes."
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Facebook Surpasses Google For Users' Online Time

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  • by tha_mink (518151) on Friday September 10, 2010 @03:09PM (#33537394)
    Well, duh. Now that there's Google Instant, you don't *have* to spend any time on google.
    • by jgagnon (1663075) on Friday September 10, 2010 @03:16PM (#33537486)

      I'm waiting for "Google Telepathy". Requiring a computer to search Google is such a waste of time.

      • by gmuslera (3436) on Friday September 10, 2010 @03:43PM (#33537910) Homepage Journal
        Not waiting for it, telepathy works in both directions... and i would like that at least my dreams are free of Google Ads.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jgagnon (1663075)

          But you could get a tattoo on your forehead reading "This Space for Rent"... :p

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by brainboyz (114458)

          *Imagining Uber Hot Chick*

          *Interrupted by foggy window hovering right-of-center*
          ==Ads by Google==
          + _Prescription Drugs Cheap_
            Viagra and Cialis straight to your door
          + _Slutty Lingerie_
            Get something hot for her to wear tonight
          + _Toys, Toys, Toys_
            Vanilla not cutting it? Have more fun with toys

          Yup, just how I want my dreams. Hot and practical.

        • by zmollusc (763634)

          For the discriminating crotch.
          Just $30 for a pack of three

        • by mweather (1089505)
          Lightspeed Briefs: For the discriminating crotch.
  • by magsol (1406749) on Friday September 10, 2010 @03:10PM (#33537412) Journal
    Is that tiny edge that Facebook has over Google outside the margin of error? I don't doubt that Facebook use is growing faster than Google use, but has it exceeded the "noisy" range and clearly bested Google, or is this just a random spike during which someone happened to be paying attention?
    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday September 10, 2010 @03:37PM (#33537822) Homepage Journal

      I don't use facebook, but I'd imagine that people who do spend more time there per visit than the five seconds it takes to google to somewhere. Plus, most people just use the search bar on their browser -- which is usually Google. Does that count as a visit?

      • It's talking about Google's sites combined. I think most people (not I) spend longer than 5 seconds when they go to YouTube.
        • by NoTheory (580275)
          This is a non-trivial problem. How do they account for youtube embeds on facebook? Count towards just facebook? Just youtube? Both? What happens to views embedded on other sites? Google gathers data from each view after all, perhaps more, than just the youtube video's primary page.
      • FWIW (one person does not a sample set make):
        I use facebook ~ 10 to 20 min/week. Usually only 1 visit a week.
        I use iGoogle about half an hour a day or more:
        * /. RSS feed
        * Comics RSS feed
        * Stock widget
        * Quotes of the day
        * latest quotes (WTF, no updates for a while)
        * Web Hosting status RSS
        * Analytics RSS
        * Google Docs periodically.

    • by Evets (629327) *

      I think the bigger question is: does anybody care? Judging from the Farmville, Mafia Wars, etc. posts, you'd think that 150 users would have pushed facebook over the edge two years ago.

      Both are still plenty vulnerable (google less so, but still) to an upstart with marketing money and a decent business plan.

      Regardless, people who spend all day on either site aren't the people that make them money. Well except for offshore ones who are getting paid a dollar an hour to click on ads.

      • Both are still plenty vulnerable (google less so, but still) to an upstart with marketing money and a decent business plan.

        Facebook (when I last looked at it, more than a year ago) struck me as being a sort of internet masturbation. As soon as something more fulfilling comes along, it will fall by the wayside. I bet the typical teenager spends a lot more time wanking than screwing, but eventually gets laid often enough to reverse the situation.
        Google, on the other hand, provides a few useful services. It's not sex, but it's not jerking around either.

    • by Jurily (900488) <jurily AT gmail DOT com> on Friday September 10, 2010 @08:13PM (#33541158)

      I don't doubt that Facebook use is growing faster than Google use

      Well, duh. I don't think Google use can grow any faster.

      There is a fundamental difference between Google and Facebook: you don't use Google to use Google, you use it to get somewhere else. You use Facebook to be on Facebook. In fact, we love Google precisely because they don't waste our time.

  • Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Thyamine (531612) <> on Friday September 10, 2010 @03:10PM (#33537414) Homepage Journal
    Why did it take so long? I don't spend that much time on Facebook, but I know I spend more time than I do searching. I mean, how do you linger for any real length of time in Google? You search and look through the results. Sometimes you look through a few pages, maybe re-work the search a few times, but in the end most of the time spent is on that page you are searching for a link for. Unless this is counting gmail and things like that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hansamurai (907719)

      I haven't RTFA but maybe Google includes Gmail, Youtube, Blogspot, etc?

    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jgagnon (1663075) on Friday September 10, 2010 @03:17PM (#33537510)

      This is for all of Google's services, not just their search home page. I keep a browser window with Gmail open nearly all day, every day.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Darkness404 (1287218)
        ...And many people also keep a Facebook tab open all day, every day and my guess is more people keep a facebook tab open than a Gmail tab because more people check Facebook regularly than their e-mails, not to mention that my Gmail account is synced with my phone, iPod, etc. while Facebook chat isn't.
    • by mooingyak (720677)

      From the article:

      all of Google Inc.'s sites combined, including YouTube, the free Gmail e-mail program, Google news and other content sites

      search itself might not be a time sink, but youtube and gmail probably are.

    • by AnonymousClown (1788472) on Friday September 10, 2010 @03:31PM (#33537728)

      I mean, how do you linger for any real length of time in Google?

      I take it you've never googled "Christina Hendricks" and clicked on "Images"?

    • Any bets on how long it will be before Google tries to purchase Facebook?

      Just my $0.02.


    • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by elashish14 (1302231) <`profcalc4' `at' `'> on Friday September 10, 2010 @03:55PM (#33538092)

      FTS: all of Google's sites combined.

      When you consider that Google offers so many other things - calendar, email, etc. (which arguably, Facebook can also provide in its own way) besides search, I guess it means you spend more time on a Google site. I wonder if Youtube was also considered in Google's minutes, but I didn't RTA.

      plus, who uses google to procrastinate? I'd think 90% of people would choose facebook over google if they had to go somewhere to procrastinate. That probably counts for the majority of facebook's time.

  • by cusco (717999) < minus city> on Friday September 10, 2010 @03:10PM (#33537416)
    I'd like to find the bastard who wrote Farmville and sue him for 'estrangement of affections'. It's quite incredible how much time my wife spends on the damn game.
  • Yahoo 3rd??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by A. B3ttik (1344591) on Friday September 10, 2010 @03:12PM (#33537450)
    Who the #%&$ still uses yahoo?
    • by emurphy42 (631808) on Friday September 10, 2010 @03:13PM (#33537460) Homepage
      Are you sure you want to know?
    • by Pojut (1027544)

      Exactly what I was thinking. How is yahoo still even ranked in the top 10?

      I mean, next thing you know, people will be saying Geocities is ranked- oh wait...

      • How is yahoo still even ranked in the top 10?

        Because lots of people still use their email services.

      • Exactly what I was thinking. How is yahoo still even ranked in the top 10?

        SBC partnered with Yahoo! as the default portal for SBC ISP customers (at least residential) back before they bought AT&T and adopted AT&T's name for themselves; if I'm not mistaken, the install procedure for the software that comes with the combined DSL modem/wireless router you get with AT&T internet service also sets your homepage to the "ATT.NET" portal, which is not at [] as its name my suggest, but inste

    • Re:Yahoo 3rd??? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Cochonou (576531) on Friday September 10, 2010 @03:27PM (#33537686) Homepage
      Maybe you have heard about this site called flickr [] ?
    • Re:Yahoo 3rd??? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Friday September 10, 2010 @03:28PM (#33537694)

      Who the #%&$ still uses yahoo?

      For search, probably not a lot of people.

      On the other hand, one of my fantasy football leagues is on Yahoo, and Yahoo Answers is pretty solid.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      I use their webmail since Google accused me of... well, they didn't say, just "acceptable use policy". Which was wierd, since all I used it for was email to friends, slashdot, and newspaper sites that force you to register, and not many of them at that. No attachments, no CCs, no chain letters, nothing.

      So if you try to reach me at, you're out of luck.

      I still use Google search, though. But I won't use their webmail again, that's for sure.

    • by istartedi (132515)

      I do. My e-mail has been there forever. Their financial charts were, until recently, clean and uncluttered. They've started forcing "revamped" basic charts on us; but even for a "web 2.0 compliant" chart, they still managed to do it without too many bells and whistles. As another pointed out, this may include their acquisition of Flickr which I have been using for several years now.

      Their search and directory were tired a long time ago. Their subscription music was a failure; but they're diverse enough

    • by jdgeorge (18767)

      You're not getting the picture []. Next to nobody uses Yahoo or Bing. The rest compete for title of "I thought they went out of business".

      • by jdgeorge (18767)

        You're not getting the picture []. Next to nobody uses Yahoo or Bing. The rest compete for title of "I thought they went out of business".

        Oh, and to the point: Idiots like me who do fantasy sports use Yahoo. I think your question really is aimed at search, not at other internet time wasting, which Yahoo is pretty good at (and popular for).

        Shame on me for having to amend my own dumb post. Ah, well.

    • Who the #%&$ still uses yahoo?

      Well, there's Flickr for one. (I just spent about half an hour there moderating several groups, commenting on new photographs, replying to message threads, etc... etc...) Then there's Yahoo!'s Finance page, where I spend an hour or so each month monitoring my portfolio's. Then there's my Yahoo! mail account that I still use for a few things, so that consumes a couple of hours a month...

      And that's only a fraction of the services Yahoo! offers and only a portion of

    • Oh sorry, I forgot to shut down that Multi-terminal Mosaic Screensaver on the California University System's VAX machine.


      Yahoo shares plummet!

  • No surprise (Score:4, Funny)

    by al0ha (1262684) on Friday September 10, 2010 @03:14PM (#33537462) Journal
    No surprise based on yesterday's story regarding the majority of users on Facebook. []

    Post a bunch of stupid sh*t about myself, then read it over and over again...
    • Post a bunch of stupid sh*t about myself, then read it over and over again...

      That would be blogging. Facebook is people posting stupid sh*t about themselves and hoping other people care enough to acknowledge their existence.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, 2010 @03:15PM (#33537480)

    Google prides itself on wasting less of our time, while Facebook prides itself on wasting more of it.

    I wanna see how many ads per minute each service gets from their users, and how much resources a minute is worth on both of them.

    Then this milestone might even mean something. By itself, it doesn't.

    • Google prides itself on wasting less of our time, while Facebook prides itself on wasting more of it.

      Google Search, sure. But Gmail or YouTube?

      • Subscribe me to your newsletter post haste!

        I was thinking the same thing; I'm in two gmail accounts all day long and spend perhaps 5 minutes on farcebook each day, I spend more time on /. than at FB too. Perhaps these number reflect the millions of stupid people willing to not only reread their own inane postings but the droppings, er, postings of their alleged "friends"? It takes all of a minute to weed through the "oh, look at my sandwich!" and "my kid crapped a HUGE load in their diaper!" stuff and get

      • by hedwards (940851)
        To be fair, they do try and waste as little of your time as possible getting to the distractions.
  • Yahoo? (Score:4, Informative)

    by swanzilla (1458281) on Friday September 10, 2010 @03:17PM (#33537500) Homepage
    I am completely surprised by Yahoo's stats. Either user-minutes is a garbage metric, or I am using the internets incorrectly.
    • by Speare (84249)

      I am completely surprised by Yahoo's stats. Either user-minutes is a garbage metric, or I am using the internets incorrectly.

      Most of those minutes are the user getting up, finding son-in-law, asking him unclear questions about whether their computer has an Internet or not, and a demonstration by said youngster how you don't have to type "" into the Yahoo homepage search field.

    • Re:Yahoo? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Friday September 10, 2010 @03:41PM (#33537878)
      The kind of people who still use Yahoo do things really slowly... they're the kind of people who always get in front of you when you're late and drive ten miles per hour slower than the speed limit. So, yes, in a way 'user minutes' is a garbage metric because if a site attracts fast users that will make it seem less popular/useful (or whatever qualitative conclusion one is supposed to correlate to the metric) even it isn't, and vice versa a site that attracts slower users will seem more popular/useful when that isn't the case.

      Lies, damn lies, and statistics.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by powermung (780700)
      My start page is I still use their e-mail service as my primary e-mail, and their finance content is second to none. For other contents, I have RSS feeds on the start page which allows me to satisfy majority of my information browsing needs without ever leaving the page. I have tried iGoogle and Google finance in the past and wasn't impressed. Facebook? I guess I'm no longer a teenager without tons of free time. Besides, I didn't realize there was an "incorrect" way to use Internet.
    • by city (1189205)
      It looks at all their services, and I have used many of them in the past, and some as recent as last year: mail, flickr,, yahoo sports (fantasy football), answers, and geocities. But I can't say I do anymore, maybe I've viewed a few photos on flickr or reviewed a yahoo answer...
    • If you got at&t, your primary email and many of your account related pages are through yahoo.
  • what book?
    what what?
  • by Silas is back (765580) on Friday September 10, 2010 @03:24PM (#33537620) Homepage Journal
    Replace "socializing" with "slacking off" in that very first sentence and everybody will go "like I didn't know".
  • So what? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by LordArgon (1683588)

    Considering Google just released Google Instant, a feature that reduces overall query time (and also just happens to increases overall ad impressions), I don't think "online time" is a particularly meaningful metric for relevance.

  • by InsaneSpider (1898302) on Friday September 10, 2010 @03:27PM (#33537670) Homepage
    Its not really socializing if they are spending hours playing farmville or mafia wars. I think thats where most of the time goes. Although I will admit that I leave my facebook profile open when I leave for work, so I wonder if they count inactive uses or not.
  • I don't waste my time with social networks. So I don't follow the trends, it seems...
  • Does that include all the time that facebook users are browsing non-Facebook "facebook-enabled" sites?

    Interestingly enough, it would appear that something happened to change my facebook's settings to "keep me logged in" without me telling it to.

  • I just have to click on some more cows first.

    Just be a few more minutes.

    If you can just wait.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      And that's the thing.

      Are those users "on Facebook" or "on Zynga" when they're doing that?

  • "Socializing"? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Arancaytar (966377) <> on Friday September 10, 2010 @04:34PM (#33538588) Homepage

    If by "Socializing" you mean "investing time into building up a virtual farm/mafia/village/whatever". :P

  • by edmicman (830206) on Friday September 10, 2010 @04:35PM (#33538604) Homepage Journal

    I don't get it - why *should* searching occupy more time than socializing? I don't really understand the Google-Facebook comparison in general. Google Search, their bread and butter, is a tool. It's job is to as fast as possible get me on my way to some destination. Facebook on the other hand *is* the destination. It's a source of content, so naturally I'm going to spend time there. In what scenario would I ever spend an equivalent amount of time searching, or using some other tool? I don't spend time holding a hammer just for the sake of hammering. I use it to build something and then use what I built.

    Honestly, the closest Google sites I can think of that are comparable to Facebook would be Reader and Youtube. But I don't typically browse Youtube...I go there from a link, or go there to directly search for something. My time in Reader is spent reading through content...but it's the content I'm using, the tool is just a means to an end. But on Facebook I tend to browse, jump from profile to profile, read through the day's events, etc.

    In what world is the purpose of Google the same as the purpose of Facebook?

  • Apples and Oranges (Score:2, Insightful)

    by billsayswow (1681722)
    This is like saying that people at the mall spend more time at the Barnes & Noble than in front of the "You Are Here" maps.
  • Google is about finding and organizing shit you want.
    Facebook is about the narcissistic pursuit of yourself.

    The 60's was the "me" generation.
    The 70's was the "me me" generation.
    The 80's was the "me me me" generation.
    The 90's was the "me me me me" generation.
    The first decade of the 21st century is turning out to be the "it's all about me me me me me me me (keep repeating until you run out of breath) generation.

    So there's being into yourself, and then there's those sick fucks on Facebook.


  • by AlgorithMan (937244) on Friday September 10, 2010 @05:53PM (#33539660) Homepage
    more online-time on a search engine means that it takes you longer to find what you were looking for in the results. which means that the search-engine has worse result.

    why do you think they have instant-seach soon?
  • Facebook is blocked entirely on our corporate firewall. I wonder how much of a productivity gain we get from that. Little do the admins know that they should be blocking slashdot as well!

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