Facebook logged 275 million global visitors in February 2009 and has catapulted to the #6-ranked online property worldwide, a 75% increase over the same period last year, according to data from comScore’s World Metrix service.
Facebook’s progress is the result of an international push to expand across more countries and regions, comScore said. February’s Facebook numbers indicate a 314% increase in Europe, where it now reaches nearly 100 million visitors.
In addition to growing quickly, Facebook’s European audience is also highly engaged, comScore added, noting that the average European user spends three hours per month on the site. Moreover, in February 2009, Facebook accounted for 4.1% of all minutes spent online in Europe. This compares with a year ago, when Facebook accounted for only 1.1% minutes. Facebook also accounts for a 30.4% of minutes spent in the social networking category, up from 12.3% a year earlier.
European Dominance Growing
In recent months, Facebook has taken a leading position in the social networking category across the majority of countries in Europe comScore said. Of the 17 European countries individually reported by the firm, Facebook now holds the top position in the social networking category in 11 of them. The site’s audience is largest in the UK, with 22.7 million visitors (up 75% vs. a year ago), followed by France with 13.7 million visitors (up 518%) and Turkey with 12.4 million visitors (year-ago data not available).
Facebook Takes Spain
Most recently, Facebook captured the top spot in Spain by knocking out a leading local player, comScore noted. Facebook now has 5.7 million visitors in that country, representing a tenfold increase vs. a year ago.
Use of the site also has soared in Italy, where it has grown more than 2,700% to 10.8 million visitors, comScore said.
The only countries in which Facebook does not hold the #1 or #2 position in the social networking category are Germany, where it ranks fourth, Russia (#7) and Portugal (#3).
“Facebook has very quickly taken a leading position across most of the European social networking market despite having a strong foothold in just a few European countries one year ago,” said Mike Read, comScore managing director of Europe. “It has climbed the rankings in virtually every market and taken over the top position in several. Most recently, Facebook grabbed the top position in Spain after nipping at the heels of a leading local player for the past several months.”