The latest Nielsen research report reveals the following:

  • Americans spend nearly 25% of the time they’re on the Internet from their PC (about 6 hours/month), on social networking sites and blogs.
  • The demographics of people on social networking sites is trending older. Twice as many Americans over 50 visited social networks than kids under 18. Adults are using such sites as a new way to socialize with friends and reconnect with old friends.
  • As social networking gains in popularity—Facebook now has more than 500 million members—its newer members tend to be older, more racially diverse, and more varied by social class.
  • Half of U.S. time online is spent on three activities: social networking, playing games, and e-mailing.
  • Americans spend 36% of their time communicating and networking across social networks, blogs, personal e-mail, and instant messaging.
  • Online games have overtaken personal e-mail to become the second most popular activity: 10% of time spent. Half of all Americans online spend some time playing games.
  • E-mail is now third at 8%.
  • Instant messaging is fifth at 4%.
  • Americans spend 3 hours 15 mins per month watching videos or movies.
  • Americans use the fixed Internet (from a personal computer) differently from their mobile devices. E-mail is dominant on mobile devices at 42%. Smartphones are expected to account for a majority of phone sales in the U.S. by the end of 2011.

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