Web users spend more time on Facebook than Google

Hot on the heels of the news that Facebook has passed the 500 million user mark, it has emerged this week that web users are now spending more time using the popular social network than they spend on all Google websites.

This is just the latest chapter in the story of Facebook’s unstoppable rise to power, which is fueled in part by its increasing popularity in Asia. 

According to Associated Press: “In August, people spent a total of 41.1 million minutes on Facebook, comScore said Thursday, about 9.9 percent of their Web-surfing minutes for the month. That just barely surpassed the 39.8 million minutes, or 9.6 percent, people spent on all of Google Inc.’s sites combined, including YouTube, the free Gmail e-mail program, Google news and other content sites.

“U.S. Web users spent 37.7 million minutes on Yahoo Inc. sites, or 9.1 percent of their time, putting Yahoo third in terms of time spent browsing. In July, Facebook crept past Yahoo for the first time, according to comScore.”

The rise of Facebook in Asia has been well charted in recent months. This week the number of Facebook users in Thailand scorched past the 5 million mark after doubling since the end of April this year.

While the social media giant’s success in the region lies chiefly in its social networking and social gaming possibilities, it has also emerged as a powerful political tool. The Red Shirt protests in Bangkok and the Obama statue campaign in Indonesia spring to mind. 

South Asia is also toppling to Facebook’s might, with it recently overtaking Orkut in India. Where it all ends remains to be seen.