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Social Networking And Games Dominate Computer Time, But E-Mail Is The Mobile Champ

According to a new survey just completed by the Nielsen company, it would appear that social networking and gaming are becoming the most popular past time when you’re online via a computer.

In other news, the sky is still blue.

facebook-logoiconAccording to the report, Nielsen tracked 200,000 users from June 2009 through June 2010 and found that the percentage of time spent on social networks rose from 16 percent to 23 percent of the total time spent online thanks mainly to Facebook.  Time spent playing games rose to ten percent, replacing e-mail as the number two activity.  On the down side of time spent, e-mail fell from 12 percent to 8.3 percent, and time spent on portal pages such as Yahoo and AOL dropped from 5.5 percent to 4.4 percent.

Interestingly, all of this is reversed when it comes to mobile.  E-mail use jumped from 37 percent to 42 percent, and time spent on portals came in second at 12 percent.  I think this speaks more to the fact people don’t want to spend more time on their mobiles than need be due to speeds, screen size and the smaller keyboards.  They want the important stuff and get out of it as soon as possible.

I’m sorry, but I love it when surveys such as this come out and state what everyone already knew, but because you throw some percentages at the subject, everyone runs around like some great revelation has been made.  Seriously, did anyone on the Web not know that social networking and gaming was taking over?  When I went to the dentist a few months ago, two of the dental hygienists were discussing taking care of fish … and then I realized they were actually talking about virtual fish in some game they play on Facebook.  You know when people that are scraping your teeth are discussing gaming on Facebook that it has reached a crazy level.

Nielsen analyst Dave Martin told BusinessWeek, “You can start your daily online experience on Facebook and perform many essential communications functions.”  He went on to add, “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 news.”  So it appears it is a matter of convenience that is causing this jump in use.

What say you?  Are you using social networks more these days as an information and communication hub?


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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