Social networking and blogging have now exceeded email as the most popular online activities. That's the conclusion of a recent 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