Facebook is the UK's most searched for brand

LONDON - Facebook was the most searched for brand in the last part of 2008 according to internet traffic analyst Hitwise, receiving 52% more searches than second-placed YouTube.

The figures, which cover the 12 weeks preceding January 3, found that one in every 42 internet searches in the UK included the social networking site’s brand.

Overall Facebook was included in 2.39% of searches and is the second most visited site after Google. It was followed by YouTube (1.57%) and eBay (1.25%).

Hitwise research director Robin Goad said the figures illustrated the popularity of social networks in the UK.

He said: "Only search engines receive more UK Internet visits than social networks.

"During February 2009, social networks received 13.1% more UK internet visits than online retail websites, and 27.9% more than adult websites, which they overtook in September 2008."

Out of the top five brands, the BBC is the only one that is non-internet specific with iPlayer its most popular sub-brand.

According to Hitwise this, together with the position of YouTube, illustrates the growing popularity of video.

The top 10 most searched for brands in the UK are:

  1. Facebook (2.39%)
  2. YouTube (1.57%)
  3. eBay (1.25%)
  4. Bebo (0.96%)
  5. BBC (0.86%) 
  6. Amazon (0.47%)
  7. Argos (0.44%)
  8. Sky (0.27%)
  9. Tesco (0.26%)
  10. Yahoo! (0.26%)

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