On the Internet, size is everything. From May, 2008 to May, 2009, Facebook started knocking off established sites and moving up in the comScore rankings. MySpace, Amazon, eBay, AOL – one by one they fell to the exponential growth that Mark Zuckerberg’s social network was experiencing.
When Facebook shot passed Wikipedia 18 months ago, many wondered if they would make it into the distant top tier where the three Internet giants roamed. Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! were still miles ahead of Facebook with more than double the monthly unique visitors.
Top Tier, you officially have a new member.
This doesn’t come as shocking news to anyone. As Erick Schonfeld at Techcrunch writes, “The evidence leading up to this overthrow has been building up for a long time.”
Facebook’s meteoric rise has been well documented on every tech publication on the Internet. Yahoo!’s troubles have been almost equally chronicled. #1 Google and #2 Microsoft continue to show modest growth and are both over 200 million monthly unique visitors ahead of Facebook, but the trend line shows that they will need to start looking in their rear-view mirrors sooner rather than later.
Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz said earlier this month that Facebook was their biggest rival. Google and Facebook have been going back and forth for months as battle lines are being drawn. Microsoft has had positive and negative dealings with the other three (and everyone else on the Internet) for a while now but seem to be playing well with all, for now.
Brad McCarty at TheNextWeb sums it up well when he writes, “With a slight downturn to Google’s growth, the exponential gain of Facebook and an uptick to Microsoft site traffic, it appears that the top three spots might prove to be an interesting race in the months ahead.”
2011 is already shaping up to be a clash of the tech titans on multiple fronts.