Top websites for December: Facebook slips below Microsoft as Nielsen includes Skype in the numbers--UPDATED

  • Media
  • January 21, 2016
  • StopPress Team
Top websites for December: Facebook slips below Microsoft as Nielsen includes Skype in the numbers--UPDATED

Microsoft’s combined offerings topped Facebook in last month’s website rankings, which are based on a Nielsen report that tracks unique audience across all web browser usage, but does not include the use of mobile apps.

Unsurprisingly, Google came out on top, while Stuff retained its lead over the Herald further down the list.    

Microsoft has managed to trump Facebook after Nielsen consolidated Microsoft’s offerings into one category, which includes MSN, Outlook, Bing and Skype (previously, Skype was labelled as a separate site, according to Microsoft).

Mi9 general manager James Butcher says the change provides a more accurate reflection of the full scope of Microsoft's business in New Zealand.  

November 2014 website rankings - Nielsen

This puts Microsoft's offerings at 2.5 million visitors while Facebook sits at about 2.4 million, compared to November 2014 when Microsoft was just over two million and Facebook was verging on 2.5 million unique visitors.

Microsoft's website has been ranked fifth at 1.8 million visitors compared to 2014 where it had 1.77 million.

YouTube has also moved up a rung on the list and is now the fourth most popular site with 1.82 million unique audience compared to its place of fifth in November 2014 with a ranking of 1.8 million.

Stuff is not too far behind with 1.6 million unique visitors with the Herald following close behind at 1.38 million. However, the unique audience for both has fallen from those posted in 2014. Wedged between the two competing news sites is Trade Me, which is ranked seventh with 1.6 million unique visitors and the New Zealand Government website at 1.46 million.

Infographic by Tim Newman

Asked for a possible explanation as to why Microsoft had overtaken Facebook in the latest rankings, Nielsen research director Tony Boyte said:

“ … we can verify those numbers are correct. One of the reasons why Microsoft as a brand is so large is that it includes traffic to MSN, Outlook, Bing and Skype all combined. The Skype audience has only been added to the Microsoft brand number for the first time in December hence the reason for their recent uplift.”

It's also worth noting that a significant proportion of Facebook traffic comes from browsers who have downloaded the app. And because the Nielsen report does not include this, it could have played a part in the the social media site ranking below Microsoft in the rundown. 

Despite the growth in its local audience, there was speculation last year that Microsoft was planning to move its mi9 business across the ditch in 2016. Butcher has, however, reiterated that this will not be happening. 

"Nothing has changed for us," he said. "We are more committed to this market than ever. We are continuing to look for new growth opportunities and are currently working on investing further in the local team and business."  


This story has been updated, as the previous table for December 2015 showed ad-supported websites only. The new top 10 includes all brands. 

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

I'm still standing after BOTAB

  • Opinion
  • October 18, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
I'm still standing after BOTAB

Last night our nations finest agencies gathered together at Galatos for the Battle of the Ad Bands (BOTAB) held by Flying Fish productions. There was singing, there was dancing, there was no lack of feathers and glitter, and most important there were some very deserving winners.

Read more
Next page
Results for

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2019 ICG Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.


Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit