Home Study: Social Networks, Gaming Account for Quarter of Time Spent Online

Study: Social Networks, Gaming Account for Quarter of Time Spent Online

Chances are, you’re here by way of a status update on Facebook, a tweet on Twitter or some other method of sharing on a social network. A study released today by Nielsen – the company you’re used to getting all of your television show ratings from – says that Americans now spend a quarter of all time online on social networking sites and blogs, up from just under 16% a year ago.

The study gives a breakdown of the top 10 online sectors according to how much time Americans spend using them, with social media and gaming leading the pack.

Among the top 10 sectors, only four have increased over the past year, with five losing ground and one remaining the same. The study shows that both social media and gaming have had the greatest increases over the past year, likely leading to drops in other areas, such as email and instant messaging, although communicating and networking still account for a little more than a third of American’s time online.

When it comes to mobile, the picture changes drastically, with email becoming the dominant sector, followed by portals and then social networking and blogs. The report doesn’t offer much detail in what it means by “mobile”, so we’re left wondering what types of mobile devices respondents are using and what this might mean for the time they spend. Nonetheless, email’s dominance in mobile would seem to indicate that, despite how much we message each other on Facebook, email still has a strong presence. Although email has seen a decline on the desktop, it is still the third heaviest activity online.

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