Get Media Industry Alerts
Visit min's sister site:

Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn   Google+   
Latest Issue »
Subscribe Now »
Get 4
Free Issues »

Social Media Traffic Explodes, Up 82%

Monday, January 25, 2010

That large sucking sound you hear may be the rush of eyeballs and time spent online moving to social media sites this past year. According to Nielsen’s latest figures, global consumers spent over five and a half hours on social networks in December, up 82% from the same time last year. A year ago, most users were spending a little over three hours a day on social sites, a group that includes networks like Facebook, blogs, and the Twitter micro-blog service. Social media is now the most popular activity online. Gaming and instant messaging are the next most popular categories.

Not surprising, Facebook emerged as the leading destination in the category, with 209.8 million unique users, or a staggering 67% of the world Internet population. The social site kept most users for nearly six hours during the month. Twitter continues to grow at a faster pace than any other social destination, with 579% more unique (18.1 million) in December 2009 than in the same month in 2008. Nevertheless, there is still reason to suspect that Twitter has peaked, in that traffic to the site actually declined 5% in the last month of 2009. Both Classmates and LinkedIn showed incremental declines year-over-year.

In the U.S. the time spent at social media sites has been even more pronounced. Total time spent at network and blog sites has increased 210% in the last year, Nielsen says. The average person is spending 143% more time on these sites than they did a year ago at six hours and nine minutes. The U.S. is second only to Australia in time spent on social media.

Putting it into the perspective of overall Web traffic, it seems that content publishers indeed have some cause for concern in this shift. Using Nielsen data, the Online Publishers Association’s running Internet Activity Index finds that the share of overall Web time spent on content has been in decline consistently over the past year. In November 2008, 44.5% of online time was spent at content destinations, compared to 9.7% at community sites like Facebook. In November 2009, however, the share of time spent on content had declined sharply to 37%, with community spiking to 24%. This is an impressive and undeniable shift in user mindshare that no publisher can ignore. It underscores the importance of media brands learning the language of social media and having an active presence in the social networking places users are now treating like their Internet portals.

If you have breaking news to share please contact min's editors.

Friend Us on Facebook at


Post a Comment


Please enter the letters or numbers you see in the image.

More Breaking News & Views

Breaking News & Views Archives

Marketing Awards
Entry Deadline: July 8
Enter Today

Webinar: Instant Engagements on Instagram
August 17 | 1:30 - 3:00 pm ET
Register Today

Webinar: How To Get Even More From Facebook 

Watch Ondemand

min's Magazine Media Awards Announced

View the Winners & Honorable Mentions

See all events and awards
Search Jobs
Media Jobs
Email Marketing Specialist
Harvard Business Publishing
Brighton, MA

Managing Editor
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Baltimore, MD

Attorney Editor State Q&A
New York, NY

Vice President for College Relations and Marketing
Washington College
Chestertown, MD

University of Maryland
College Park, MD

White Papers
Get even smarter.  Need a quick primer on a media topic? Download a white paper!

Optimizing Your Printer Services - By MRI

Media Insights: minsider Viewpoints from the Front Lines - By min

View Whitepapers
min Contests

min contests

Want to sponsor a min contest?

Inside min This Week

Free Eletters — Sign up Now