Users Spending 44% Less Time on Facebook

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Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) has enjoyed a wide lead in user attention ever since the company rolled out its first product to a national audience. While it shows no sign of relinquishing its top ranking, the amount of time users spend on the site has dropped sharply over the past year.

According to a new report from Verto Analytics cited at eMarketer, in 2016 the average amount of time a user spent monthly on Facebook totaled 32 hours and 43 minutes. In 2017 that monthly average has dropped to 18 hours and 24 minutes.

The average number of monthly sessions on Facebook has dropped from 311 to 173, while the amount of time spent on an average session has risen slightly, from 6 minutes and 18 seconds to 6 minutes and 23 seconds. Facebook’s stickiness rating has dipped from 75% to 70% in one year, but that remains well ahead of other social media platforms.

Snap Inc.’s (NYSE: SNAP) Snapchat ranked second in both years, and the average time spent on Snapchat in a month rose from just over 3 hours to 4 hours. The number of monthly sessions per user rose from 119 to 144 and the average length of a session rose by 8 seconds to one minute and 40 seconds. Snapchat’s stickiness score was 47%, down one point year over year.

Twitter Inc.’s (NYSE: TWTR) Twitter platform posted a gain of nearly half an hour in a user’s monthly average, to 3 hours and 2 minutes, although the average number of monthly sessions dipped from 37 to 32. The average length of a Twitter session rose by more than a minute and a half to 5 minutes and 44 seconds. Twitter’s stickiness score dropped from 43% to 27%.

Facebook Messenger posted a monthly average amount of time spent on the platform in 2017 of 1 hour and 34 minutes, up more than 30 minutes year over year. The average number of sessions rose from 64 to 67 and the average duration of a session rose by more than 30 seconds. Messenger’s stickiness score rose from 44% to 49%.

While social media still commands a large portion of a user’s monthly time spent on the web, the decline in total hours spent from more than 39 hours a month last year to around 26 hours a month this year could indicate a major shift in what U.S. consumers are looking for.

eMarketer notes that its own research shows that adult users of Facebook will spend 41 minutes a day on the platform, a minute more than last year.

According to Verto Analytics, Facebook recorded 199.4 million unique U.S. visitors in October of this year, well ahead of Twitter’s 110.8 million and Pinterest’s 84.4 million. Facebook Messenger attracted 104.7 million unique visitors and the company’s Instagram platform attracted 144.3 million unique visitors. By any measure, it seems, Facebook dominates.