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Facebook, YouTube, our collective time sinks (stats)

Down the drainThink what you will about Facebook, but the main social network of choice today has become so big and so prevalent that there’s no escaping it. And we spend an almost ridiculous amount of time on Facebook. Another behemoth that is virtually everywhere and used by everyone is YouTube. You may have heard of it.

Let us walk you through some numbers for these two sites to give you an idea of how much they are being used worldwide and the massive amount of time we are spending on them.

(Small note: With “users” in this article we mean the number of unique visitors per month.)


FacebookFacebook now has 600 million users worldwide, generating an estimated 770 billion page views each month. (So you know those Facebook engineers have their work cut out for them to keep the site running smoothly.)

The average Facebook user visits the site 40 times per month, spending an average of 23 minutes (23:20 to be precise) on each visit. How much time spent on Facebook does that add up to for us all?

Each user spends an average 15 hours and 33 minutes on Facebook in a month.

Together, we spend a whopping 9.3 billion hours on Facebook in a month. That’s 1,065,449 years.

That’s a lot of user time.

But wait, there’s more! This was just for the Facebook website. It doesn’t include the highly popular Facebook mobile apps, which are used by 200+ million of Facebook’s users.


YouTubeYouTube has 490 million users worldwide (unique visitors per month), generating an estimated 92 billion page views each month.

The average YouTube user visits the site 14 times per month, spending an average of 25 minutes on the site each time.

This adds up to 5 hours and 50 minutes per month for the average YouTube user. Not as much as Facebook, but read on…

Together, we spend 2.9 billion hours on YouTube in a month. That’s 326,294 years.

But wait, there’s more! Just as with our Facebook stats above, these numbers were only for the YouTube website. Don’t forget all those embedded YouTube videos that are all over the place, in blogs, viewed on smartphones, etc.

Conclusion, and some local flair

Considering the glue-like stickiness that these sites clearly have, it’s not so strange they have become two of the world’s largest sites, and top dogs in their fields. Facebook has become the dominating social network by an unprecedented margin, and YouTube has a similar hold on online video.

These were worldwide numbers. There are, however, big local differences in what sites people are attracted to.

Case in point, the Brazilians are in love with Google’s social network, Orkut. The Brazilian Orkut site ( has 37 million monthly users (compared to 9 million for Facebook). That’s almost half of all Brazilian Internet users. Not only that, they visit the site an average of 60 times per month, spending an average of almost 27 minutes on the site each time. So Brazilian Orkut users spend 26 hours and 40 minutes on the site each month. A dedicated crowd…

And of course, we all have our own personal little time sinks on the Internet. For some it may be cute cats, others peruse Wikipedia for hours, or hang out on discussion forums until they turn blue, read their favorite tech blogs, not to mention how many are addicted to Twitter, and so on.

But hey, that Internet thingy is just a fad anyway.

Data source: We used data from Google’s DoubleClick Ad Planner, which shows traffic and visitor estimates for a large number of sites. It should be emphasized that these numbers are estimates.

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