Online hangout MySpace.com has overtaken Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO news)'s email gateway as the single mostvisited U.S. Web site although Yahoo's network of sites retains a broader audience according to a report issued on Tuesday.
According to Internet traffic measurement firm Hitwise News Corp.'s MySpace.com accounted for . percent of all U.S. Internet visits for the week ending July pushing it past Yahoo Mail for the first time and outpacing the home pages for Yahoo Google and Microsoft's MSN Hotmail.
However Yahoo's top three destinations Yahoo Mail the Yahoo.com home page and Yahoo search collectively attracted more than percent of the total U.S. audience according to Hitwise data.
MySpace's home page and email site only amounted to . percent of U.s. Web visits according to Hitwise's list of top ten U.S. Internet properties for the first full week of July.
Yahoo issued a statement saying that: "The Yahoo network is made up of many domains and it is not accurate to compare MySpace.com to just Yahoo's (email site)."
In the United States Yahoo said it attracts million unique visitors per month which represents percent of the online population in the world's biggest Internet market. By contrast MySpace reaches only percent of the online audience with million unique visitors according to Yahoo.
Hitwise does not provide figures for the number of unique visitors to a site.
Yahoo also said it has a larger share of online time spent than any other property a key measure for advertisers. It said it accounts for percent of users' online time while MySpace has only . percent share in users' online time.
U.S. only statistics also understate the far greater international audience Yahoo has than MySpace which only recently has been seeking to expand outside of the United States.
ComScore Networks a rival to Hitwise in the Internet measurement field projects that Yahoo attracts more than million unique monthly visitors to its network of sites on a global basis making Yahoo the most visited Internet network.
With its own category MySpace which dominates social networking on the Web gained U.S. market share in June from other sites that aim to create virtual communities online for sharing music photos or other interests Hitwise said.
MySpace captured nearly percent of visits to online social networking sites up from percent in April. A distant second was FaceBook at . percent or onetenth the traffic.
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. bought MySpace for $ million one year ago as part of a strategy to rapidly build up the media conglomerate's Internet presence.