Facebook now drives almost one quarter of all web browsing

By James Robinson , written on July 22, 2014

From The News Desk

There will probably be no new or interesting angle with which to frame Facebook’s quarterly financial results tomorrow. For a seventh straight quarter, it will likely come out and beat all revenue expectations. In general, user growth is trending downward, but engagement, ad impressions and ad pricing have all been way, way up of late. At the end of Q1, revenue was up 72 percent year-over-year to $2.5 billion. There’s no reason to think this won’t be bested.

The levers of Facebook’s ad machine are turning so efficiently, that another impressive result feels so predictable. We’re running out of ways to frame just how central Facebook looms large in our life and just how well it’s monetizing that fact.

But here’s a new one.

Shareaholic published its Q2 Social Media Traffic Report yesterday, polling a network of over 300,000 websites responsible for over 400 million monthly unique impression.

Adobe’s last social media report showed how we were engaging with links on Facebook at higher and higher levels, but Shareaholic has quantified just how dominant this has gotten. Last June, Facebook was responsible for 9.3 percent of overall web traffic. This June? 23.4 percent – better than 150 percent year over year growth.

Pinterest comes in second, with 5.7 percent and Twitter third, with just over 1 percent. Only three social media sites crack one percent.

It’s a little staggering. Facebook drives better than four-times as much traffic as its nearest social media rival and 23-times as many referrals as Twitter, which despite its reputation as the news discovery engine, has stagnated on this front across the last 12 months. Combined with Twitter’s flat user growth, it suggests that the walls are almost set in place for the site, for now.

Going off Shareaholic’s report, Facebook is responsible now for almost a quarter of all web traffic. On mobile, we’ve already seen Facebook start to rival Google as an engine for content discovery.

The addictive, compulsive way we check in with Facebook, it means that it’s no longer just changing who we connect with. Facebook is now dictating what we look at, as well as.

[illustration by Brad Jonas for Pando]