Facebook accelerates past StudiVZ in Germany

It looks like the battle between StudiVZ and Facebook in Germany is reaching its end. Facebook is now officially Germany’s biggest social network. The latest numbers from analysts Nielsen show that the world market leader increased its reach by more than 50% from March to July 2009. In July Facebook had nearly 6.2 million unique users in Germany. By contrast StudiVZ had 4.28 million uniques, though it continues to claim 6 million registered members.

Not only could Facebook now overtake its arch enemy, which at first it tried to buy and then sued for plagiarism, but also MySpace and former German front-runner wer-kennt-wen.

Twitter has also doubled its reach since March, as last month Nielsen counted 1.99 million unique users, while another study revealed that Twitter has 145,000 active users in Germany.

In a piece in today’s FAZ newspaper, Nielsen notes that while Facebook is growing at a clip, other networks appear to have to stagnated after years of rapid growth. The only exception is MeinVZ, the StudiVZ offshoot aimed at post-university adults. But even then that network is growing at a slower pace and has far less users than Facebook.

Facebook is also the social network with the largest average online time in Germany: 2.24 hours compare to StudiVZ’s 2.13 and MySpace’s 0.35. Though – given the Summer – this has unsurprisingly dropped from more than 4 hours in March. New users spend less time on Facebook than experienced users, says Nielsen. The average time spent on the other networks has stayed more or less the same – further evidence that the composition of the users is not moving upwards.