Social Site Use Up 43 Percent in a Year in U.S.

Internet users in the U.S. spent 43 percent more time on social networking sites in June 2010 than they did during the same period in 2009, according to data from Nielsen. The audience measurement firm estmates services such as Facebook and Twitter now account for almost 23 percent of all time spent online by U.S. users, up from 15.8 percent in June 2009.

Much of the growth for social networks appears to be coming at the expense of other online communication methods, such as e-mail and instant messaging, which experienced drops in their overall share of time by 28 percent and 15 percent year-over-year, respectively. Portal sites were the other major loser, with their share of users’ time dipping 19 percent.

Overall, Nielsen found U.S. users spent 36 percent of their time communicating across social networks, blogs, personal e-mail, and instant messaging.

Alongside social networking, online gaming and online video were the other two site categories that experienced major gains over the past year, growing their share of time by 10 percent and 12 percent, respectively. Search, meanwhile, remained relatively flat, accounting for just 1 percent more of users’ time.

Top 10 Sectors by Share of U.S. Internet Time

Rank Category Share of Time June 2010 (%) Share of Time June 2009 (%) Change in Share of Time (%)
1 Social Networks 22.7 15.8 43
2 Online Games 10.2 9.3 10
3 E-Mail 8.3 11.5 -28
4 Portals 4.4 5.5 -19
5 Instant Messaging 4.0 4.7 -15
6 Videos/Movies 3.9 3.5 12
7 Search 3.5 3.4 1
8 Software Manufacturers 3.3 3.3 0
9 Multi-Category Entertainment 2.8 3.0 -7
10 Classifieds/Auctions 2.7 2.7 -2
  Other 34.3 37.3 -8
Source: The Nielsen Company

 

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