Amercians’ social media use up 43%: Nielsen

The US’s 43% social-media surge in the past year led “a substantial shift in how the country spends its online time,” Advertising Age reports, citing Nielsen research. From June 2009 to this past June, “the time spent on social media accessed from PCs rose from 15.8% … to 22.7%,” with social networking topping the list of American’s favorite online activity and gaming passing up email for the No. 2 spot (at 10.2% of time spent online from a computer). Email fell to 8.3% (the study didn’t look at mobile Web access, but Nielsen said email still dominates mobile Web access). Nielsen also said that it’s getting tougher to make a distinction between social networking and gaming, since more and more games are Facebook apps. As for the rest of the Top 10 online activities this past year, they were Web portals (e.g., Yahoo!), instant messaging, online videos/movies (YouTube accounts for 70% of online video viewing), search, software makers, multi-category entertainment, and classifieds/auctions, in that order. Both portals and instant messaging lost some ground in the past year, though – and Nielsen suggests the decline in IM-ing is due to the rapid rise in texting. Online video saw a modest increase year-to-year (from 3.5% to 3.9% of Americans’ time spent online via PC), but “still only averaged an hour and 15 minutes per person per month, an amount of time many people spend with traditional TV,” Nielsen reported, adding that YouTube use accounts for “about 70% of online video time on PCs.”


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