Measuring the Facebook traffic tsunami

Upstart traffic measurement company Quantcast has released some impressive data on the effect of the Facebook platform on audience growth. The company measured pre- and post-Facebook platform usage on three popular companies: Slide, HOTorNOT and RockYou.

All three have seen substantial jumps in traffic since the Facebook platform launch, with domestic uniques doubling or tripling. These sites were substantial to begin with, making the growth more meaningful.

According to Quantcast, U.S. uniques for Slide went from 312,000 to 1.1 million. Growth in global uniques outpaced growth in domestic uniques for HOTorNOT and RockYou. RockYou’s global uniques increased from 286,000 to 1.3 million.

There’s been a fair amount of debate about whether a Facebook user is “worth” as much as a “regular” user. As long as the value of a Facebook user is greater than zero, these data indicate that being on the Facebook platform is a good place to be.

Facebook effect daily uniques (U.S.)

Facebook effect - daily uniques (global)

Unlike other measurement services which rely on data from ISP logs or panels to represent the Internet audience, Quantcast bases its data for these sites on actual traffic measured by a hidden pixel.

Quantcast allows anyone to “quantify” their site by putting the tracking pixel on it for free; sites without the pixel are measured based on a panel. Anyone can also look at the traffic statistics for any site by going to Here’s an example report for Yahoo!.

Disclosure: I’m friends with several Quantcast employees.

More on: Facebook

About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is Senior Director of product at Amazon (Audible). Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. He tweets at @rakeshlobster.
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