Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Social networking, blogging now more popular than email

Social networking and blogging have now exceeded email as the most popular online activities. That's the conclusion of a new report released by Nielsen. According to the study, Global Faces and Networked Places(pdf), search and destination sites remain the most popular online activities.

Nielsen says that "two-thirds of the world’s Internet population visit social networking or blogging sites, accounting for almost 10% of all Internet time." The report went on to say that personal email has become "the world’s fourth most popular online sector after search, portals and PC software applications." The rankings are reflected in the chart above (courtesy Nielsen Online).

The total amount of time spent on Facebook rose by 566% -- from 3.1 billion minutes to 20.5 billion minutes. It's the ninth most popular brand online. Facebook also had the highest average time spent online per person -- averaging 3 hours, 10 minutes per person.

Nielsen attributes the rise of social networks in 2008 to Facebook alone. The report says that Facebook has replaced MySpace as the world's most popular social network.

People aged 35-49 years old represented the greatest growth in its number of audience numbers, with 24.1 million, followed by 13.6 million visitors aged 50-64, and 7.3 million under 18 year old.

Will we see marketers kicking email to the curb? I don't think so. However, this study does provide some great PR for social nets.

Related: Social Nets and Blogs More Popular Than E-Mail

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Lisa Quinn said...

We are in an era where the telecommunication model is constantly reinventing and transforming itself. Right now, Twitter is the next best thing for fast, informative information made tangible at searchers’ fingertips. I think we should begin to ask ourselves what will follow this expedient information portal. Social networks and blogs have now surpassed email usage, internet trends no one would have predicted five years ago. Will social networkers eventually get tired of the same mundane networking functions? I believe the next best thing will be integrating a prize initiative for members, just like eZanga.com’s recently launched social network, http://www.HopOnThis.com. Members earn points by staying socially active on the site. A rewarding twist added to an already popular hobby.

Deb S. said...

Lisa: Thanks so much for stopping by to share your insight on social networking trends. Since you handle PR for eZanga's HopOnThis.com, you're definitely the expert when it comes to this site.

The prize incentive is interesting, to say the least. I'd like to learn more about eZanga's demographics. In addition, I find it intriguing to watch the relationship between social networking and advertising.

Keep us posted!