Social Networking has become such an essential part of people’s lives that it seems difficult to imagine how people actually managed to keep in touch without the Facebook poke or that once-in-a-while @ tweet. It should come as no surprise that social networking is on the rise and is growing at a phenomenal rate. What should come as a shock is the information that time spent on social networking sites has gone up by a whopping 82%.
The blog of the Nielsen company has shocked the globe by the data that globally, people spend more than 5 and a half hours on social networking sites. This statistic, gauged in Dccember 2009, seems huge when compared to the same statistic in December 2008, which registered slightly over 3 hours.
Note, this is time that people spend, and not the number of visitors. The traffic to these sites has also seen a remarkable increase. In 2008, Nielsen reports 242 million unique visitors (243,039,00). That’s gone up to 307.4 million. (307,428,000) – a 26.5% increase.
The statistic was measured across 10 countries, : U.S., U.K., Australia, Brazil, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain and Italy. Unforunately, India wasn’t part of their statistic.
Not surprisingly, the growth in the USA was the most, with total audience growing by 210% and average time per person increasing by 143%
As per their blog, “Among, the top five U.S. social networking sites, Twitter.com continued its reign as the fastest-growing in December 2009 in terms of unique visitors, increasing 579% year-over-year, from 2.7 million unique visitors in December 2008 to 18.1 million in December 2009″
|Country||Unique Audience (000)||Time per Person (hh:mm:ss)|
|Source: The Nielsen Company|
On a countrywise statistic, Australia leads the pack when it comes to average time spent on social media.
Another point to note in the graphs, is the disparity between the social networking sites. Facebook continues to lead with a huge majority.
MySpace, the once king of the social networking world is downed by the din. We reported a long time back how Facebook had finally killed MySpace. What is shocking is that MySpace is now smaller than Facebook was a year back.
Though Twitter has the best growth rate, the steep rate it registered mid 2009 has declined. Though the rate of new users has declined, the activity of the existing users has increased, thereby leading people to the understanding that people have finally figured out how Twitter is more than just a “cool trend” to catch on to. Computerworld has a nice article on how Twitter and Facebook became lifelines for Haiti.
(Just today, we wrote on how social media is evolving, how through social media we’re rediscovering the social aspect of the Internet).
To sum it up, it’s not news that social networking is catching on, but with the rate with which it’s increasing, it won’t be long before the Internet will be synonymous with Social Media. (For an interesting read, check out this article on Mashable on the 4 Big Trends on Internet Tomorrow)
I have two questions, where’s the statistic for India?
And two? How on Earth do we find the time to spend close to six hours on Social Networking sites?
We’d love it if readers could let us know how many hours they spend.