With Twitter getting so much attention these days, Facebook almost seems to have drifted into the background. But the more you look at data on web traffic, the more you realize how big a force Facebook has become.
The chart below is from Mary Meeker's presentation at the Web 2.0 conference a few weeks ago. It clearly illustrates Facebook's rapid rise to key web player status.
Marketing Charts has another angle on the growth of Facebook. Their chart (below and sourced from Nielsen) shows the top 10 U.S. Web brands by unique visitors and time spent in September. Facebook is 4th in terms of audience size and 1st in terms of time spent per person.
What is striking about Facebook is not the size of their audience or how much time people spend on the site. It is their growth rate on both metrics that is impressive. They are quickly becoming the place people hang out on the web.
Despite these numbers, the vast majority of small businesses do not need a Facebook presence at this time. It is not yet a site most customers turn to for business purposes.
But it is time to pay attention to Facebook and start to understand how you can use it for your business - because the day is coming when a Facebook presence will be required.