Spectacular growth over the past year has made Facebook the top social network in Europe, digital research firm comScore reported on Wednesday.
"Facebook has very quickly taken a leading position across most of the European social networking market despite having a strong foothold in just a few European countries one year ago," said Mike Read, comScore's managing director for Europe.
"Over the course of the past year, it has climbed the rankings in virtually every market and taken over the top position in several," Read said.
"Most recently, Facebook grabbed the top position in Spain after nipping at the heels of a leading local player for the past several months," he said in a statement.
ComScore said Facebook, which recently welcomed its 200 millionth user, was the leader in 11 of 17 European countries surveyed.
Its largest audience is in Britain with 22.7 million visitors in February, up 75 percent from a year ago, followed by France with 13.7 million visitors in February, a gain of 518 percent, comScore said.
Facebook captured the top spot in Spain in February with 5.7 million visitors, up tenfold from a year ago, comScore said, and grew 2,700 percent in Italy from a year ago to 10.8 million visitors in February.
ComScore said Facebook welcomed nearly 100 million visitors in Europe in February, up 314 percent from a year ago, and 275 million visitors worldwide, maing it the number sixth ranked Web property worldwide.
Visitors were also spending more time at Facebook, comScore said, with the average user spending three hours per month on the site.
According to comScore, Facebook is the top social network in Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
It ranks second in Austria, Ireland and the Netherlands, third in Portugal, fourth in Germany and seventh in Russia.
(c) 2009 AFP
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