Posted January 5, 2009 3:11 pm by with 24 comments

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FacebookJust a few weeks ago we reported that Facebook was growing by 600,000 users a day. If that wasn’t enough, CNET reports that Facebook set record traffic numbers on Christmas Eve.

During the month of November, Facebook was averaging 1.42% of all U.S. Internet traffic. On December 24, they hit a Facebook-best 2.18% market share that day. That’s a 54 percent increase over November average and a 53 percent increase year over year. Needless to say, things are going well for them.

According to CNET, that pattern was mirrored in the U.K., where visits to the social networking site had a market share of 4.65 percent, accounting for one in every 22 Internet visits.

As for what is causing this strong traffic increase, Heather Hopkins of Hitwise theorizes it was a combination of boredom and bad weather. Facebook’s primary markets (New York, Chicago, Washington, Boston, and Philadelphia) were all slammed with bad weather.

She also theorizes that people were using their computers as an escape from entertaining family members on Christmas Eve. I think this is a valid argument considering the youthfulness of Facebook’s audience. Facebook became a hub for young adults to converse with one another and avoid those awkward/awful conversations with relatives you only talk with on holidays. Oh to be young again.

What I found particularly interesting was Christmas in 2007 was Facebook’s biggest traffic day, and Christmas Eve this year stole that award. I guess Christmas isn’t as exciting as we all like to believe.

Did you find yourself logging into Facebook on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas?

  • PS3

    The stats are impressive but what sort of message does that send about the society we live in? That people spend more time with virtual friends online these days rather than being with their families on Christmas Eve?

  • I logged in on christmas eve several times when taking a break from wrapping presents. Its a good way to keep up with family you dont get to see at christmas.

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  • I suspect that part of the traffic increase was family members logging in together, as in one person saying “what’s this Facebook thing everyone’s talking about?” and a family member showing them. I know that has been repeated a number of times in my house. It would be interesting to see if there was a disproportionately large uptick in new registrations.

  • I haven’t logged in to my fbook for ages….

    It would be interesting if someone can compare that stat with myspace…

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  • Yep, I am part of that statistic. I did log in, both on Christmas Eve and Christmas itself. 🙂

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  • i logged in during christmas and new years. haha

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  • I have to confess that I was guilty of logging onto facebook both on Christmas eve and on Christmas day. If you have loads of different friends and loved ones all over the planet it just makes communicating and managing relationships so much easier!

  • I agree with Andrew that the traffic bump was probably caused by people showing family members old friends or pictures of themselves. I know, because I showed a family member a picture that a friend took that I didn’t have and was on facebook.

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  • I logged in on Christmas eve as well. Everyone is busy on Christmas so it was the last chance get the holiday wishes in. 600,000 new users a day is incredible. I would when it will top out?‘s last blog is a scam

  • 2% of all internet users were hitting facebook. That’s insane. Probably everyone logging on to write “Merry Christmas” on 50,000 walls.

  • When you consider the general tendency to stay at home this past festive season, this is not very surprising. When you are not doing something that you have been doing for so long, due to economic reasons, Facebook comes in handy indeed.

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  • I thought the internet was dead during the holidays?

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  • @PS3
    Just because people are on facebook doesn’t mean they are interacting with people who they don’t know, or “virtual friends”. I for one only have people I know on facebook, and it is nice to wish them a happy new year when I would not usually see them
    I say well done to FaceBook!

  • PS3

    I appreciate that Milo, my post was a bit tongue in cheek, trying to spark some friendly debate 🙂

  • Luckily I skipped my Facebook account months ago so “no” I didn’t go there on Christmas eve. I am however amazed that they get 600.000 new users per day. That equals the population of my country in a matter of 11 days 🙂 That’s insane!!

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  • This year, instead of sitting by the tree and exchanging presents, we sat around our laptops and wrote on each other’s walls. Merry Christmas!

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  • @ZooLoo, at least you avoided singing 🙂

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  • Maybe people were uploading their Christmas photos. That’s a posibility…

  • I have logged in facebook on Christmas eve. I was just checking my messages.

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  • Wii

    I checked facebook to say happy xmas to my brother who lives in jersey and I don’t get to see him very often

  • Seems facebook is a home now for those who wants to greet a holiday with their friends and families, but why not on messenger ?

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  • Well, those are really great numbers for Facebook once again. I was part of FB also on Christmas Eve, just like any other eve while i am online 🙂

  • It always boggles my mind the amount of hosting and data management companies like Google must require. Facebook probably has massive storage needs as well to handle all of these new accounts and content.