Social media consumption on the rise

Chris Caceres · January 22, 2010 · Short URL:

Nielsen reports an 82% increase in time spent on social media sites year-over-year

As we live increasingly in a 140-character world, and stay up-to-date with friends through their news feed posts, it almost goes without saying that social media consumption continues to go up.

Global time spent on social networking sites saw an 82% increase year over year in the month of December '09, amounting to five hours and thirty minutes per user per month, according to a just-released study by the Nielsen company. Facebook undoubtedly led the way in time spent, and in traffic.

Just over a year ago, in December 2008, the average time spent on social networks was a little over three hours.  

Today, we see a massive increase.  Facebook alone with its, now, 350 million users worldwide saw the average user spend nearly six hours per month on its social network.  Another interesting note - Nielsen found that Facebook and Twitter have outpaced growth of the entire social media category which included Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Classmates and LinkedIn.  

Year-over-year, Twitter was the fastest growing site in terms of unique visitors with a 579% increase, (from 2.7 million uniques in Dec. 2008 to 18.1 million in Desc. 2009).  Although month-over-month, the micro-blogging platform saw unique visitors decrease 5%

By the looks of things, we'll probably continue to see social media consumption grow.  I'm actually surprised that Facebook was only used for an average of six hours per user last month.  I usually keep it running in the background and check it out every few hours to see what's going on, the same with Twitter.  Plenty of my colleagues do the same and when I shared the small average number of, six hours per user per month the response was, "Wow, I'm probably logged into Facebook for at least six hours per day."

And Facebook is planning for its future, the company announced yesterday it would be building its own data center in Oregon to support its 350 million users.

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