Facebook Takes Second Place in U.K., Surpasses Microsoft Sites

By Ed Silverstein June 27, 2011

Facebook is now the second-most popular social media site after top-ranked Google, according to a new study.

UKOM/Nielsen data said Facebook had a record 26.8 million U.K. visitors during May, which is a 7 percent increase year vs. year.

Some 26.2 million visited Microsoft's MSN/WindowsLive/Bing sites during May, according to UKOM/Nielsen.

Google had 33.9 million visitors.

In addition, the number of Twitter users in the United Kingdom increased by a third to 6.1 million, according to Reuters. Among the stories popular with Twitter were allegations of celebrity scandals, such as an alleged extra-marital affair by Manchester United soccer star Ryan Giggs.

The demographics of U.K. social media users are changing.

“The growth in audiences to these social networks is now primarily being driven by the 50-plus age group. Just a few years ago, this group may have found itself out of place on these sites,” UKOM general manager James Smythe told Reuters.

Also, more U.K. adults over 50 years of age were visiting Facebook in the last two years, Reuters said.

In addition, older adults were more likely to visit Twitter than in the past, Reuters said.

Boys and girls under 18 were less likely to visit Twitter than two years ago – which was not the case for Facebook, Reuters said.

Also, LinkedIn saw 3.6 million U.K. visitors in May, according to Reuters. This was an increase of 57 percent from the same time period in 2010.

In related news, Facebook may be planning to have an Initial Public Offering in 2012, according to TechZone360.

In addition, the company could be worth as much as $100 billion, TechZone360 adds. Goldman Sachs valued Facebook at $50 billion earlier this year.

And Facebook may have close to 500 private investors, leading to the push for an IPO, TechZone360 reported. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requires companies with over 500 investors to disclose their financial information on a quarterly basis, TechZone360 added.

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Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

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