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(AXcess News) Reno – Call it a phenomena of the social craze, but visitors in the US spent more time on Facebook than any top brand site by nearly a 2-to1 ratio in August.

Nielsen Online reported that US visitors spent on average 5 hours and 46 minutes on Facebook for the month of August compared to its closest top brand site in minutes spent Yahoo!, which averaged 3 hours and 14 minutes.

Surprisingly, Google only recorded 2 hours and 40 minutes with AOL a close third at 2hours and 36 minutes. And in case you’re wondering visitors in the US only spent 2 hours and 11 minutes on Microsoft sites.

Despite the fact that social networking is all the craze, Google still lead the pack in the number of unique visitors in August with 158 million. Second was Microsoft with 140 million, Yahoo a close third at 138.3 million and AOL with 92.5 million. Facebook received 103.8 million unique visitors in August.

Call ’em chatty Kathy’s, but Facebook visitors appear to linger on the site, both posting and reading over others’ comments on the social site.

Interactive Corp, owners of Ask.com and 34 other web properties, only averaged 18 minutes per unique visitor in August from 72.1 million uniques, suggesting Ask.com has still not regained any interest to keep visitors on its site, though in all fairness, it would mean its other consumer brand sites are fairing below what many would believe to be adequately of interest to draw visitors deeper into their pages.

It could be that AOL is still the young widow waiting for a marriage proposal from one of the other top search providers after the ugly war between the ‘big 3’ in search. If you combined AOL with either Microsoft or Yahoo! it would have beat the bytes off of Google hands down. Still, with AOL fresh from the throws of Time Warner’s ownership it’s too early to tell what direction AOL will go.

Certainly search partnerships are a consideration, but partnering with key regional news brands may be the answer. Hearst Newspapers has a search marketing partnership with Yahoo and with Scripps Howard having just appointed a new czar of its web properties perhaps an AOL deal – or Yahoo – could happen. But as long as AOL relies on Google for its search, its not likely to happen.