Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Social networking overtakes electronic mail

Social networks now more popular than email - One in six online minutes devoted to 'member communities', according to research
see also Global Faces and Networked Places

Social networks are now more popular than email, according to a new report from market research firm Nielsen.

The firm's Global Faces and Networked Places (PDF) report found that 66.8 per cent of internet users worldwide accessed 'member communities' last year, compared to 65.1 per cent for email.

AdvertisementIn the UK this means that social networks now account for one in every six minutes that users spend online, up from one in every 13 minutes a year ago.

The research also found that nearly two thirds of people spent more time on social networks than they did in the previous year. Facebook came out on top with 29 per cent of global internet users, followed by 22.4 per cent for MySpace. Facebook also saw growth of 566 per cent in time spent on its site by worldwide users.

Mobile social networking is also beginning to take off, according to Nielsen. UK mobile web users are the most likely to visit a social network via their handset.

Nearly a quarter of UK mobile surfers, or two million people, visited a social network last year, compared to 19 per cent, or 10.6 million people, in the US. These numbers also represent increases of 249 per cent in the UK and 156 per cent in the US on last year.

The most popular social networks via PCs and laptops also tend to be the most popular via mobile, the report found, and Facebook tops the list in many countries.

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