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BizReport : Social Marketing : August 10, 2010

Growth of Facebook in U.K. slows

New data from Hitwise shows Facebook's growth in the U.K. slowed slightly in July, particularly when compared with the huge increases in traffic witnessed over the past few years. However, while Google continues to attract the largest percentage of all U.K. Internet visits, Facebook trounces the search giant on page views.

by Helen Leggatt

Facebook is the second most-popular Internet destination in the U.K., according to Hitwise. Last month the social networking site made up 7.14% of all Internet visits in the U.K. and accounted for over half (54%) of all visits to social networking sites.

Google held the top spot with 9.59% of all Internet visits.

However, at 16.73%, Facebook gets more than double the page views in the U.K. than Google (8.22%), its nearest rival.

Some speculate that Facebook could be reaching saturation point in the U.K. but, with 37.4 million adults in the U.K. and just 26 million with a Facebook account, that leaves over 10 million who may yet succumb to the social networking giant's lure.

Despite the popularity of social networking in the U.K., many users are failing to recognize the dangers of sharing too much personal information. A recent survey from data storage specialists NetApp found that while Brits are sensible enough to not reveal their PIN number to strangers, one in twenty happily publish their home address on social networking sites.

"It's really alarming that people have so much confidential information like a home address available on their Facebook profile," said Paul Wooding, Head of U.K. Public Sector for NetApp.

"As soon as you update your profile saying you are off on holiday all your hundreds of friends and now potentially anyone searching on Google, will know your home is empty for the next few weeks."

Tags: Internet usage, social networking, U.K.

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