Social Media And Games Dominate Online Activity [Nielsen Wire]


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Americans spend nearly a quarter of their time online on social networking sites and blogs, up from 15.8 percent just a year ago (43 percent increase) according to new research released from The Nielsen Company.

The research revealed that Americans spend a third their online time (36 percent) communicating and networking across social networks, blogs, personal email and instant messaging.

Source:Nielsen NetView – June 2009-June 2010 *Other refers to 74 remaining online categories visited from PC/laptops **NetView’s Videos/Movies category refers to time spent on video-specific (e.g., YouTube, Bing Videos, Hulu) and movie-related websites (e.g., IMDB, MSN Movies and Netflix) only. It is not a measure of video streaming or inclusive of video streaming on non-video-specific or movie-specific websites (e.g., streamed video on sports or news sites).

“Despite the almost unlimited nature of what you can do on the web, 40 percent of U.S. online time is spent on just three activities:

  • social networking;
  • playing games;
  • and emailing

leaving a whole lot of other sectors fighting for a declining share of the online pie,” said Nielsen analyst Dave Martin.

Additional findings include:

  • Online games overtook personal email to become the second most heavily used activity behind social networks – accounting for 10 percent of all U.S. Internet time. Email dropped from 11.5 percent of time to 8.3 percent. (Source: Nielsen NetView)


  • Of the most heavily-used sectors, Videos/Movies (which includes video-specific and movie-related websites only – and is not inclusive of video streaming behavior elsewhere) was the only other to experience a significant growth in share of U.S. activity online. Its share of activity grew relatively by 12 percent from 3.5 to 3.9 percent. (Source: Nielsen NetView)


  • June 2010 was a major milestone for U.S. online video as the number of videos streamed passed the 10 billion mark. The average American consumer streaming online video spent 3 hours 15 minutes doing so during the month. (Source: Nielsen VideoCensus)
  • Despite some predictions otherwise, the rise of social networking hasn’t pushed email and instant messaging into obscurity just yet. Although both saw double-digit declines in share of time, email remains as the third heaviest activity online (8.3 percent share of time) while instant messaging is fifth, accounting for four percent of Americans online time. (Source: Nielsen NetView)


  • Although the major portals also experienced a double digit decline in share, they remained as the fourth heaviest activity, accounting for 4.4 percent of U.S. time online. (Source: Nielsen NetView)

Other mobile Internet activities seeing significant growth include music and video/movies, both seeing 20 percent plus increases in share of activity year over year. As these destinations gain share, it’s at the cost of other content consumption – both news/current events and sports destinations saw more than a 20 percent drop in share of U.S. mobile Internet time.

NOTE: This piece of research looked at the share of all U.S. Internet time each of the 84 “standard” NetView subcategories/sectors holds. Only the top 10 sectors were actually called out, the remaining 74 were grouped into “other” and not called out.

The Mobile Internet data is derived from a survey which tracks self-reported mobile internet usage from over 5,000 respondents each month.  Mobile internet universe is defined as people that they have used the mobile internet, email or instant messaging on their mobile phone in the past 30 days. The Mobile internet data is weighted back to benchmarks for age, gender, income, race/ethnicity and operator share collected in Mobile Insights.

Source: Nielsen Wire

About João Geraldes

Sales & Marketing Manager at Timestamp and University Lecturer. Chairman of the Meeting of O. V. – Portuguese Association of Sales Professionals, Member of the board of Economists number 10723.
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