Berk did an extensive crawl of the web and found that 22 percent of all pages now contain Facebook URLs, a number he senses is “rising, and fast.” When you consider the vastness of the web, and how long its sites have been proliferating, that’s a striking figure. As Berk observes, “it’s taken roughly a decade for Facebook to not only accrue roughly a billion users, but to entangle itself in about a fifth of the Web.” Even more striking, and troubling for anyone concerned about the web’s future as an open, popular network, is Berk’s finding about the way in which Facebook is entangling itself in the web:
Although about a fifth of the Web (based on this sample) references Facebook, and despite there being close to half a billion references to Facebook URLs, there are only 3.5 million unique URLs in the sample set. The bulk of these are for Facebook-specified integrations (those that add social dimension to a Web site), as opposed to specific inbound URLs. My key takeaway here is that although Facebook may know about a sizable portion of the Web, the Web barely knows anything about what’s inside of Facebook.
Interesting methods used to get the numbers in Berk’s report, too.