Nielsen surveyed 200,000 users from June 2009 to June 2010 and found that the amount of time users spent on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social sites grew from 16 percent to 23 percent.
Social networks and online games have eclipsed Web
portals such as Yahoo and e-mail in use, according to a new report from Nielsen Company
titled "What Americans Do Online."
Nielsen surveyed 200,000 users from June 2009 to June
2010 and found that the amount of time users spent on Facebook, Twitter,
YouTube and the cadre of social sites grew from 16 percent to 23 percent.
Social network use was followed by Web games at 10
percent. Games such as Zynga's Farmville overtook e-mail in the No. 2 slot for
time spent online for the users polled. Half of all Americans using the Web spend
some time playing games, Nielsen said.
It's the sign of a sea shift. Web portals such as Yahoo and
AOL and their associated e-mail clients are symbols of the Web 1.0 period,
which appears Jurassic-like for people in bed with current, popular Web 2.0
Nielsen analyst Dave Martin told
BusinessWeek that Facebook is
ostensibly the new e-mail:
"You can start your daily online experience on
Facebook and perform many essential communications functions," Martin
said. "In the past, you might have to log into Yahoo Mail and then log
into MSN Messenger and then maybe check the Yahoo home page for new, breaking
Indeed, Web users spent only 4.4 percent of their time on
portals in June compared to 5.5 percent of the time from June 2009.
Time spent sifting through e-mail dipped to 8.3 percent from
12 percent, meaning users are clearly doing conducting messaging and
collaboration tasks with Facebook, Twitter or other social sites.
Facebook, Twitter, Zynga and others of their ilk are
paving the way for new revenue opportunities in social advertising and virtual
Facebook's like button is proving popular, with more than
300,000 Websites installing it to help let people see what their friends are
Amazon, for example, offers
a button that lets users connect with Facebook to see what other people
are interested in.
Twitter last month
its @earlybird account to let users share promotions for movie tickets
and travel Websites.
Zynga, already a fixture on Facebook with Farmville and
Mafia Wars, has banked some $520 million in investments from VCs and Google,
which will use
Zynga at the core of its social network strategy.
Combined, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have close to one
billion users, or roughly 20 percent of the population, all over the world.
Advertisers can capitalize on these Websites, as well as
from Foursquare, Brightkite and Gowalla, by coming up
with innovative campaigns.