A big part of the Facebook experience is how friends and family share Web links to interesting news stories, photos, videos and Internet sites. This “friend-casting” of information has helped propel Facebook into a major force in directing traffic around the Web.
According to Web measurement firm Compete Inc., Facebook has passed search-engine giant Google to become the top source for traffic to major portals like Yahoo and MSN, and is among the leaders for other types of sites. This trend is shifting the way Web site operators approach online marketing, even as Google takes steps to move into the social-media world.
Some experts say social media could become the Internet’s next search engine.