Apple's was the twelfth most-visited US website in January, the latest internet audience figures from comScore Media Metrix claim.

Apple attracted 48,413,000 visits in January, that's higher than Facebook (33,861,000) and Viacom (42,011,000) and only slightly behind the New York Times (48,471,000).

The top three sites (or, to be accurate, groups of sites) visited by US internet users were; in first place, Yahoo! sites, 138,059,000; second place, Google sites, 134,886,000; and Microsoft sites, 119,297,000.

The differences in traffic between the top three contenders offers stern reinforcement of what's at stake in Microsoft's current hostile takeover attempt of Yahoo!.

Reflecting the company's continued growth in both market and mind-share, Apple's website entered comScore Media Metrix' top 50 list at number 44 with 11,133,000 visitors in November 2003.