Facebook’s Merry Christmas: Becomes Most Visited US Site

    December 29, 2009

According to new statistics from Hitwise, a lot of people may not have done the Norman Rockwell thing this holiday season, gathering around a fire with family members.  Instead, they may picked computer screens and online friends, helping propel Facebook to a new high.

A 136-character tweet from the Hitwise_US account announced the big news this morning: "Facebook was the most visited site in the US on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 1st time the site has been the #1 visited US site ever."

Of course, the shift to Facebook doesn’t signal the end of civilization; the site just provides a way for people to connect with friends and relatives who aren’t located under the same roof.  And there’s no evidence that folks didn’t actually get together whenever possible and then just visit Facebook in their spare time.

The real story is more that Facebook beat every retail site that was experiencing a seasonal high, along with traditional leaders in the most-visited-site competition like Yahoo, Yahoo Mail, and Google.

This would be a huge deal under any circumstances, and gains additional importance given that Facebook scored its win so soon after a somewhat controversial overhaul of the site’s privacy settings.  It looks like members weren’t exactly scared off.

Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see whether Facebook can sustain this unprecedented level of traffic, or if things will quiet down a lot as students and professionals go back to school and work.

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> Facebook Publishes 2009’s Top Status Trends

> Privacy Group Files FTC Complaint About Facebook