On Monday Hitwise announced that "for the week ending March 13, 2010, [Facebook] surpassed Google in the US to become the most visited website for the week." This is certainly big news, but not as big as you'd think from reading the tech blogs. Some are saying that this is the triumph of the social web, the turning point at which more people began using the web for interaction rather than inquiry.
I say bollocks. The internet has always been about both social networking and search (and the union of the two). Ever since the days of bulletin boards and IRC, people have been doing some form of "social networking" on the internet. It certainly wasn't mainstream back then, and I'll grant you that Facebook is a lot more compelling of an application than IRC, but this isn't a turning point as much as an equilibrium.
It's also not a story about the decline of Google. People will always need a way to find things on the web, and although Bing is a worthy competitor in that arena, the game is still Google's to lose.
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- Google beaten by Facebook (telegraph.co.uk)
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- Facebook Tops Google As Most Visited Site in the U.S. (blogs.wsj.com)
- Facebook ranks as most visited site in US (vator.tv)