Last year was certainly the year that Facebook spread its wings, and 2011 is already shaping up to be even bigger and better for this social media giant. By the end of 2010, Facebook had already surpassed Google to be the most-visited website in the United States. A recent study from Experian Hitwise disclosed that Facebook earned 8.93% of all website traffic last year, while Google shrunk to a still modest 7.19%. The previous year in 2009 held Google at the top of the list followed by Yahoo mail in second and Facebook in third. With such amazing growth rates unseen be even its largest competitors it looks like Facebook is going to remain unchallenged as top dog for years to come.
Beyond its success with visitors, Facebook has also remained on top of the search engine lists. In both 2009 and 2010 Facebook was the number one searched result. In fact, last year four variations of the term “Facebook” were in the top 10 results and accounted for 3.48% of searches overall.
Last year in July, 2010 Facebook Grew to 500 million users. Only a few short months later in 2011, Facebook can proudly boast over 600 million users. With 700,000 users joining daily, Facebook may be well on its way to 1 billion users by the end of the year.
Facebook has continued to grow and integrate many exciting new features. Recently Facebook has launched some big additions such as Facebook Credits, Facebook Places, the new Facebook Messages. It has improved its page design, social plugins, and the user experience, and has further developed its (debatably) most influential contribution to the web, the Open Graph.
Facebook’s Open Graph is a system that socially graphs and connects all the things web users interact with online. With a few simple lines of code a website owner can connect his or her site to Facebook, so what a user does off Facebook provides Facebook behavioral data about that user. This provides some amazing opportunity to see what customers are really interested in and suggest to them things they actually want to see. A more social, personalized web experience. We are excited to see where these big ideas take Facebook and eCommerce in the years to come.
As Facebook has evolved, so has its users. Businesses and individuals continue to find creative and innovative ways to leverage the ever-changing features of this social media giant to connect with people and build names for themselves. In 2011 I predict we will see businesses using more engaging and imaginative ways to build relationships with fans. Expect to see more interactive concepts and eCommerce being brought to Facebook. The use of Facebook Credits will no doubt be a game-changer for Facebook and will soon spread beyond Facebook, and perhaps even beyond the web.
Join in the conversation below and share with us how your business leverages Facebook to build relationships with its customers. What new Facebook tools do you like best, and which do you see making the most noise here in 2011?