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comScore-Desktop-Traffic-Popular-SocNet-Sites-Jan-Sept-Oct2013The latest monthly ranking of US web activity has been released by comScore, and yes, Yahoo (197.8 million unique visitors) topped Google (191.5 million) for the third consecutive month among desktop-only visitors, although Google likely retains the largest audience when factoring in mobile counts. Yahoo is widening the desktop gap for the time being – and that’s without factoring in traffic to Tumblr. So how is Tumblr faring so far this year? And what about other social media sites? Looking back at 9 months of data offers some insights.

[Editor’s note: A previous version of this article did not contain April data, which was not publicly released by comScore. They have since provided that data.]

The above chart clearly shows that Facebook remains far and away the leader in desktop-only traffic, for the most part maintaining its visitor counts throughout the year even as it transitions to a more mobile-reliant network. Twitter, which appears to be even more driven by mobile users, is also holding relatively steady in desktop-only counts.

The dynamics for the other 3 networks in the chart are quite interesting. LinkedIn has seen its monthly desktop-only unique visitor count climb from 46.4 million at the beginning of the year to 52.2 million in September, a fairly significant 12.4% increase.

Tumblr, meanwhile, has experienced an even more rapid rise in monthly visitors, from 30 million in January to 36 million in September, a 20% rise. In fact, Tumblr sported more unique visitors in July (38.4 million) than Twitter (36.5 million), and Twitter is only ahead by a couple of million visitors as of September.

Finally, Pinterest has seen the biggest fall. Starting the year at 30.2 million unique desktop-only visitors (slightly above Tumblr’s 30 million), it has tumbled (excuse the pun) to just 24.9 million in September, about 11 million fewer visitors than Tumblr. In fact, while it was the 38th largest desktop property in January, it is now only the 50th.

Here’s the same chart as above, limited to only Pinterest and Tumblr:

comScore-Desktop-Traffic-Pinterest-Tumblr-Jan-Sept-Oct2013

It’s true that many of these counts would be significantly influenced by the inclusion of the mobile audience. March data from comScore shows that Twitter and Pinterest profit far more from the inclusion of mobile audience counts than LinkedIn, for example. The decline in traffic for Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest may owe more to rising mobile traffic than to a decrease in popularity, with Tumblr and LinkedIn comparatively less reliant on mobile.

Nevertheless, all of the social media sites above receive more visitors from desktops than smartphones and tablets, making it worthwhile to check in on how those desktop counts are progressing throughout the year.

Other Findings:

  • The Family and Youth – Education category was the fastest-growing on a month-over-month basis in September, with 29% more visitors in September than in August.
  • Microsoft, Facebook and AOL retained their positions as the 3rd, 4th, and 5th-ranked web properties (desktop-only), respectively, in September.
  • Yahoo! Sites regained its top syndicated ad focus ranking in September, with 87.8% reach among online Americans, ahead of ShareThis (85.6%).
  • Google Ad Network was again the top ad or buy side network, with 94.3% reach.
  • Among DSP/SSP/ad exchange entities, Rubicon Project REVV Platform was again on top, with 95.6% reach.

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