SAN FRANCISCO - Google on Friday released Web traffic data indicating that Facebook is king when it comes to online visitors despite criticism about privacy at the social-networking service.
Facebook.com is visited monthly by 540 million people, or slightly more than 35 percent of the Internet population, according to Google Ad Planner worldwide data gathered using recently-acquired Double Click.
Approximately 570 billion pages are viewed monthly at Facebook.com, more than eight times as many pages as are viewed each month at second-place Yahoo.com which gets 490 million visitors, according to Google.
The figures support word from Facebook that it has not been abandoned by members despite carping by politicians, consumer groups and privacy advocates that want tighter safeguards on personal information at the website.
Only 23,515 people had signed up as of Friday at a "We're Quitting Facebook" website as "committed" to dump the social-networking service as part of a campaign to stage a mass protest on May 31.
That number represents less than .006 percent of Facebook's more than 400 million members.
Facebook is overhauling privacy controls in the face of a barrage of criticism that it is betraying the trust which has made it the world's biggest social network.
Facebook redesigned its privacy settings page to provide a single control for content and "significantly reduce" the amount of information that is always visible to everyone.
Facebook also said it is giving users more control over how outside applications or websites access information at the service.
"This is a pretty big overhaul to the system we already have," Zuckerberg said while outlining the changes during a Wednesday press briefing at the social network's headquarters in the California city of Palo Alto.
"Now we are making it so there is less information that has to be public. People want a simple way to control the way information is shared with third parties, so that is what we are doing," he said.
The revamped privacy controls began rolling out Wednesday.
Facebook last month sparked criticism from privacy and consumer groups, US lawmakers and the European Union by adding the ability for partner websites to incorporate data regarding members of the social-networking service.
Critics continue to call for Facebook to make all user information private by default and then let people designate what they want to share case-by-case in an "opt-in" model.
Facebook has rejected such a model, saying the service is based on a premise that people want to connect and share with friends and people around them.