For the week ending March 13, 2010, and for the first time in its spectacular ascendancy, Facebook became the most visited site on the Internet. Already, analysts and experts are hailing this as a momentous event, one that validates the power of social networking in the rapidly evolving universe of the World Wide Web. There’s just one problem: the premise is simply false.
Dusting off the history of the recent past, almost exactly two-and-a-half-years ago, Google passed MySpace to become the most visited site on the Internet – and has held that position until last week. Yes, that’s right: MySpace, the once-meteoric and now-languishing social network that went from Internet sensation to, in the eyes of marketers, the social network for less affluent and educated demographics, fairly recently held the lofty moniker “most visited site.” So this symbolic achievement of Facebook harkens less to any real milestone moment in the history of social networking on the Internet, and more to the hyperbolic crowning of a flavor of the month.