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Brits look at Google and Facebook every 210 seconds, says survey

Go on, count them. Bet you can't resist now we've said that

By Gareth Corfield, 9 Aug 2017

Ad companies Facebook and Google slurp one in every 3½ minutes that Britons spend online, according to a survey.

This, says audience metrics company Verto Analytics, accounts for 17 per cent of British adults’ time online, the equivalent of 42.7 million days a month across Google, YouTube and Gmail.

Similarly, Facebook-owned sites, including the ad-driven data-mining website itself, Instagram and WhatsApp, account for 11 per cent of time online, or a relatively paltry 28.4 million days.

“Google and Facebook’s share of internet time and ad revenue is staggering considering the hundreds of thousands of websites that exist,” said Hannu Verkasalo, CEO of Verto Analytics, in a canned statement.

He’s right: 98 per cent of Facebook’s revenues are made up of advertising income, and the situation has got to the point where British journalism trade magazine Press Gazette has started a “Duopoly” campaign to highlight how the two companies are sucking away the lifeblood that keeps news media organisations functioning. 90 per cent of the UK ad market is reportedly controlled by just two US firms.

Our own Andrew Orlowski is a strong supporter of this campaign, having described Zuck and the Googleborg as “geeks who want algorithms to replace humans”.

The Verto survey also found that of the top 10 websites used in the UK, the sole British one was the BBC. Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, “Oath” (the new name for the merged Yahoo-AOL beastie), eBay and Twitter were the others, along with Activision Blizzard.

“Increasing power and wealth going into fewer hands means it’s easier to move into other business models and industries, influencing society in new ways – think Google’s move into driverless cars and Facebook’s dive into Artificial Intelligence,” continued Verkasalo’s canned quotery. “It used to be the likes of NASA that drove the future, now it’s down to what search engine and social network you use.”

Look on the bright side: there’s always the off button, and there’s always mountain caves to live in. ®

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