Facebook Connect Boosts Facebook Visits Says HitWise Report

facebook_523415a1A new research by Hitwise reveals that during the first week of September, Facebook captured nearly 58% of visits in the social networking custom category. MySpace — which is the big competitor to facebook and was leading social networking site as recently as May, now trails Facebook significantly with a mere 31% share of the market.From August 1st, visits to social networking sites reached the highest levels of the past three years. The previous peak occurred during the week ending June 23, 2007 when visits to MySpace reached their highest point.

Beside cleaner layout and mobile iPhone camplication for facebook in comparison to Myspace.com, Facebook Connect program was the hit, which allows users to share stories in their news feed and make comments on websites and blogs. The program launched in beta during July of last year, then officially launched to developers in early December say Hitwise mentions.

The number of websites participating in Facebook Connect has grown quickly to over 15,000 websites globally including CNN.com, ABCNews.com, Hulu.com, WashingtonPost.com, and The Huffington Post (by the way Huffington Post was a role model recently on how to utilize this service, check it out)

The report shows some really interesting information,  if you take a look at the year-over-year growth in the market share of visits to Facebook, there is a clear uptick in the growth rate following the launch of Facebook Connect, according to Hitwise.

A clear benefit of Facebook Connect is the ability of the user to use a single portable identity — and most importantly, one password, rather than logging into multiple accounts across the network of Web sites.

Not to forget that Facebook’s recent purchase of FriendFeed which is also expected to help to aggregate this single portable identity across the world wide web.

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Tarek is the founder and chief researcher at Youngberry, a youth research and marketing firm dedicated to the region. Tarek founded interactiveME.com and previously worked as Manager at Flip Media (Interactive Agency), Bayt.com (Job Site) and Consulting House Qatar (Consulting firm). He is researcher and writer on internet & disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship, and youth culture.