This week two conflicting studies were released detailing how much time Web surfers were spending socializing versus surfing. While comScore was quick to point out that Facebook had overtaken Google for the first time in August, another report indicated Zynga's Farmville actually racked up more total hours than the other two combined - and by a sizable margin!
What is odd is that comScore's study did not include any type of comparison analysis as to how "one" online game could possibly overshadow both Facebook and Google. According to comScore, Americans spent 685,000 hours or 41.1 million minutes on Facebook in August, compared to 663,333 hours spent on Google.
However both Facebook's and Google's totals pale in comparison with the stats released on Mashable's Infographic this week, titled, "FarmVille vs Real Farms."
The FarmVille numbers are attributed to the USDA.gov, InternetWorldStats, GogaOM, FAO of the United Nations, Southeast Farm Press and Zynga and were presented to Mashable by @shanesnow. And if accurate, the average time players spend on FarmVille per week (not per month) totals a "whopping" 70 million hours!
What is difficult to wrap one's head around is the fact that the majority of FarmVille players play the game on Facebook. So if that is the case, wouldn't a portion of their 70 million hours be part of Facebook's totals as well? Yet, Facebook is only tracking a 'measly' 685,000 hours per month.
The other stat that doesn't seem to make sense is the fact that while FarmVille players amount to 60 million users worldwide, Facebook just passed its 500 million user milestone last month.
Granted there are 500 million acres of farmland to be farmed on FarmVille - and according to the same report, estimates say FarmVille's maker Zynga pulled in as much as 200 percent more net profit in 2009 than Facebook - but does that account for the fact that FarmVille users spend more than 400 times more hours on the game than they do on Facebook?
The math just doesn't seem to compute logically? Or for some odd reason, we are comparing apples with oranges? So, readers, let me know your thoughts as to how one can make sense out of what appears to be conflicting data? Either one report is too low, or the other too high? Which is it?