I’ve been wringing my hands about how to change the subject around here. Most of my recent posts have been about social media in one way or another. It’s an easy subject to talk about – it’s new and sexy and poorly understood – but I aspire to cover the complete range of topics that can add to a digital strategy.
Then, I came across these recent usage stats from Nielson that indicate how people are spending their time online:
In 2010, social networking is the #1 use of people’s internet time. That shouldn’t be surprising when you know Facebook is not only the #1 visited website, but it has the most insane loyalty number you could imagine: over 1,000 page views per visitor.
Now, I don’t feel as bad giving social media so much attention.
Other interesting takeaways from the data:
- Communicating via social networks may be beginning to replace email communication. Anecdotally, there are some people I message with on Facebook and nowhere else. I wonder if the alternative would be email, or simply abandoning those connections?
- Online gaming is growing fast. I would imagine this popularity is a result of the social networking obsession; the new breed of games are casual and social, not individual tests of skill and reflexes. And even traditional “hardcore” games have gone online, social, and mainstream. Games like Halo 3 and Modern Warfare 2 are launched with bigger opening weekends than blockbuster movies.
- Videos and movies are increasingly being watched “online”, but I believe differentiating how the consumer gets his media is a mistake. If it comes over the “wires” and you watch it on a “screen”, it’s still TV to many people. The internet isn’t replacing TV, it’s just increasing TV’s sophistication.
- Portals are losing popularity. I would guess that internet-savvy users are already ignoring portals, and now we’re seeing late adopters catch up to the use of search engines and social recommendations.