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Nielson Says Social Networking is Closing in on Email Use

A recent study from the Nielson Company suggests that social networking sites are continuing to grow, while use of email is dropping.

The study found that in the month of June, American users spent some 22.7 per cent of time online at social networking sites and blog services. That figure is up significantly from the same period in 2009, when social networking use accounted for 15.8 per cent of activity.

Had all recorded online time been compressed into a single 60 minute period, Nielson estimates that 13.5 minutes would have been spent of social networking and blogging sites.

The report comes just as one social networking service recorded a milestone of its own. Twitter announced that its users had written up more than 20 billion "tweet" postings.

Second most popular among users was online gaming. The study found that gamers drove just over 10 per cent of the time spent online, up from a 9.3 per cent share in 2009.

The uptake in social networking and blog use comes amidst a drop in use of older online communication methods, most notably e-mail. The study recorded a 28 per cent drop in time spent on email, down to 8.3 per cent total.

Use of instant messaging platforms and portal services were also down, recording 15 and 19 per cent drops, respectively. When the total time is compressed into a 60 minute period, portals and instant messaging each accounted for roughly 2.5 minutes.

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