Tuesday, March 06, 2007

McDreamy Battles Facebook for the Coveted Fifteen-to-Twenty-five Demographic

The above graph represents traffic on Facebook one Thursday evening a couple weeks ago. The long, declining tail at the end of the graph marks the nighttime hours as young people presumably either go to bed or find other, less-Internet-based things to do. But what is the anomaly in the center of the graph? Traffic seems to be holding fairly steady at about 165-70 thousand, then suddenly plummets to about 150 thousand just before 18:00 Pacific Standard Time. Why would twenty thousand users abandon Facebook at 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time on a Thursday night? Because 6:00 Pacific Time is 9:00 Eastern Time—Grey's Anatomy was coming on:
A more granular view of activity: the number of users who have taken an action within a 60 second period. It’s easy to see 10-15k people taking Facebook breaks during each of the commercials. Not Pictured: Another 20k viewers took more traditional bathroom breaks, and 12k made a snack.
Link (thanks, the late great Suedo Apmuza). You can even see fifty thousand people coming back online at the end of the hour. My instincts say those tweens and college kids aren't logging off for C.S.I. Grey's is this season's highest-rated scripted show, does even better in the "adults" demographic of eighteen- to forty-nine-year-olds, and, well, Facebook got rid of its Pulse feature a couple months ago, so it's difficult to compare the shows most added to users' favorites, but any show that has such an effect on a website's traffic must be notable with its base. Too bad the show jumped the shark a few weeks ago.

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