Facebook Approaches The 200 Million Club In U.S. Audience Numbers, But Yahoo Grows Faster

When accounting for both mobile and desktop audiences in the U.S., Facebook is approaching the exclusive 200 million club in unique visitor numbers, according to comScore data shared with BI Intelligence.

That club is currently only occupied by Google and Yahoo sites, which ended June with 225.1 and 214.3 million U.S. unique visitors across mobile and desktop, respectively.

In June, Facebook saw 184.7 million total unique visitors.

However, Yahoo’s growing faster lately than either Facebook or Google, a sign that new CEO Marissa Mayer may be having an impact.

Mayer has championed a quickfire series of site and app redesigns and relaunches across desktop and mobile. Yahoo’s photo service Flickr has seen its user numbers jump 50% since its overhaul in May, Mayer said at the annual shareholder’s meeting.

(Tumblr, which Mayer-led Yahoo purchased earlier ths year, has 46.6 million UVs across platforms, but it has not yet been combined with Yahoo in comScore’s data.)

Here’s the total audience growth from September 2012 to June 2013, for the top three Internet companies:

  • Google sites: 4.8%
  • Yahoo sites: 13.2%
  • Facebook: 3%

Facebook’s recent total user growth has been driven entirely by mobile.

Its desktop audience actually shrank slightly between September 2012 and June 2013.

In fact, Facebook is the most “mobile-first” of the major Internet players. Facebook had 38.6 million mobile-only visitors in June — UVs who accessed Facebook only via a mobile device. That’s a considerably larger mobile-only audience than Google or Yahoo sites.

Meanwhile, comScore’s numbers indicate that Google and Yahoo rely more heavily on PC-based usage, which leaves them vulnerable to the PC market’s decline.

In fact, Google sites are growing on the desktop, but losing audience on mobile.

Google on desktop saw nearly 201 million UVs in June 2013, 8% more than in September 2013. But Google had 24.4 million mobile-only UVs in June 2013, a decline of 3% from the mobile-only audience in September 2012.

Yahoo performed slightly better on mobile over the same period of time — mobile-only UVs in June 2013 were 2% more than in September 2012 — but its story is similar to Google’s.

We’ve known for some time that mobile would radically alter the landscape of the Web, but what is still unclear is how quickly the mobile wave will alter audience habits. For now, PC-centric usage still weighs heavily.

Download the charts and data in Excel.

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