A new study released by Nielsen reports the shift in the online social behavior. Nielsen’s study results presented here followed the online activity in the USA, Brazil, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Australia. Note that the ‘Member Community’ category includes both social networking and blogging websites. 1. Social network and blogging sites are now the 4th most popular activity on the Internet
Social network and blogging sites are now the 4th most popular activity on the Internet (overcoming personal email) with 67% global reach as to December 2008. That is 5% more of what they attracted a year ago.
The strongest growth comes from Germany (much due to Facebook launching a German language interface in March 2008) now reaching 51% of Germans online compared to 39% a year ago (12% increase). Large growth has also occurred in the UK, Spain, Italy and Switzerland (about 10% growth in each country). The US growth at this time was minor (2.6% growth) suggesting a saturation of the online social activity of the US population.
2. Due to Facebook’s success - time spent on ‘member community’ sites grow three times the rate of overall Internet growth
The overall time spent online globally increased by 18% between December 2007 and December 2008. In the same period, however, the amount of time spent on ‘Member Community’ sites rose by 63% to 45 billion minutes; and on Facebook by a massive 566% – from 3.1 billion minutes to 20.5 billion. Facebook’s time is so high due to having the highest average time per person (three hours 10 minutes).
In most of the countries monitored the share of time accounted for by ‘Member Communities’ has more than doubled. In Switzerland, share of time has tripled from 3% to 9.3%. A year ago ‘Member Communities’ accounted for one in every 15 online minutes globally – now it accounts for one in every 11. In Brazil alone, ‘Member Communities’ accounts for almost one in every 4 minutes. In the UK they now account for one in every 6 minutes (up from every 13 minutes a year ago) and in Italy one in every 7 (up from one in 14 a year ago).
3. Facebook has driven older people to be socially involved online:
While social networks started amongst the younger audience, today’s audiences are becoming broader and older. This shift has primarily been driven by Facebook, successfully opened opportunities of social networking to a much wider audience.