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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Social networks on the rise among US web users

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Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube account for nearly a quarter of the time Americans spend online, or six hours per month, according to new research from Nielsen.
The media research organisation also found that US web users spend 36 per cent of their online time visiting or communicating across social networks and blogs as well as emailing and instant messaging their contacts.
Perhaps more surprising is the news that the nations' social networking audience is getting older - with Nielsen reporting that twice as many Americans aged 50 or over visit social sites compared to users under 18.
"Despite the almost unlimited nature of what you can do on the Web, nearly half of U.S. online time is spent on three activities - social networking, playing games and e-mailing," explained Dave Martin, vice president of primary research at Nielsen.
Mr Martin added that "friends and family are endorsing content to others," explaining the rise in popularity among social network-hosted games such as Zynga's FarmVille.
USA Today reports that online games overtook personal email in June as the second most popular online activity, accounting for 10 per cent of user time compared to just eight per cent for email. Email was still found to be the dominant activity of mobile web use, however, rising from 37 per cent to 42 per cent in June.
Other findings disclosed by Nielsen include the statistic that American web users streamed an average of three hours and 15 minutes of online video content in June. The Pew Internet & American Life Project also recently reported that newer members signing up to social networks tend to be older, more racially diverse and from more divergent social backgrounds than members who signed up previously, as social networking becomes a universal phenomenon.
Author: D. Warburton Search Copywriter
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