Social Networks and Online News Drive U.K. Internet Growth

U.K. Internet users spent 65 percent more time online in April 2010 than they did during the same month in 2007, according to data issued by industry-backed audience measurement initiative, the U.K. Online Measurement Company (UKOM), and collected by Nielsen.

According to UKOM, that growth was driven by social networks and blogs, and online news content, as those categories witnessed 159 percent and 84 percent growth, respectively, over the three-year period. By contrast, use of instant messaging services suffered greatly, with users spending 66 percent less time with them in 2010 than they did in 2007.

Overall, UKOM suggests social networking now accounts for almost a quarter of U.K. users’ time online, at 22.7 percent, followed by e-mail which accounts for 7.2 percent of their online activity, and gaming at 6.9 percent.

Users spent a total of 884 million hours online during the course of the month, UKOM estimates.

Leading U.K. Online Sectors by April 2010 Share of
Total U.K. Internet Time

Rank Sector April 2010 share of time (%) April 2007 share of time (%) Relative Change (%)
1 Social Networks/Blogs 22.7 8.8 159
2 E-mail 7.2 6.5 11
3 Games 6.9 5.9 15
4 Instant Messaging 4.9 14.2 -66
5 Classifieds/Auctions 4.7 5.0 -6
6 Portals 4.0 3.7 10
7 Search 4.0 4.1 -3
8 Software Info/Products 3.4 5.3 -36
9 News 2.8 1.5 84
10 Adult 2.7 2.8 -3
Other 36.8 42.2 -13
Source: UKOM

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