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Hitwise: Facebook makes gains in U.S.

Visits to the social-networking site more than doubled from February 2008 to February 2009, with growth coming in all age groups except for the 18-to-24 set.

Facebook users just don't seem to be as young as they used to be. And they're going to the social-networking site a lot more often.

A new report from traffic tracker Hitwise shows that U.S. visits to Facebook grew 149 percent in February compared with the same month a year earlier. That pushed Facebook's market share among folks in the United States visiting social-networking Web sites to 36 percent last month, versus 14 percent in February 2008.

Facebook stayed in second place, but it's gaining ground against the No. 1 site. In February, MySpace accounted for 52 percent of U.S. visits to social-networking sites, but that's down 28 percent from its year-earlier market share of 73 percent.

Market share, social-networking sites

Overall, U.S. visits to the 55 social-networking sites tracked by Hitwise grew just 4 percent year over year.

Among visitors in February to Facebook, which just revamped its user pages, 29 percent were between the ages of 18 and 24, down 27 percent from the year-ago month--though that was still just good enough to keep the 18-to-24 group on top. All older demographic brackets, meanwhile, saw year-over-year traffic increase at least 10 percent. The age groups on MySpace generally stayed flat over the same period.

The average time spent on both MySpace and Facebook was largely unchanged. In February, Facebook's visitors tended to stay just over 22 minutes, while MySpace visitors lingered a little under 30 minutes.

U.S. demographics - MySpace, Facebook