Report: Social networking more popular than web-email

Chicago (IL) – More individuals visit and utilize social networking websites and blogs rather than web based email, claims a report issued by Nielsen Online, a firm which tracks time spent online visiting different websites. This new data marks a change in the direction of the Internet and communication by its users.

Nielson claims that over two thirds of the global population utilizes “member communities” which include blogging sites and social networks. Member communities make up the fourth most popular category, springing ahead of email as the most common online activity in the world. Ahead of member communities are search, general interest portals, and PC-based software applications.

Between December 2007 and December 2008, Nielson determined that blogging and social networking sites combined reached 66.8 percent of the global online population.

It has been a common belief that for young individuals utilizing email for communication with older individuals was the norm, and social networking sites, text messaging, and instant messaging were the preferred methods of communication amongst friends. Nielson, however, discovered that Facebook had a greater growth in the older generation than the young.

The greatest Facebook growth comes from individuals between the ages of 35-49 years old, adding an additional 24.1 million users, and the 50-64 year old bracket adding 13.6 million more users from December 2007 to December 2008.

Facebook was deemed the most popular of all of the social networking sites globally. Additionally, it also seems to be able to hold the attention of its users with the average individual remaining on the site for about 3 hours and ten minutes.

[Editor’s note:  As a nearly 40-year old, I’ve found Facebook’s attraction to be the ability to stay in contact with so many old co-workers and friends from years gone by, people I’ve lost contact with. Facebook is proving to be an amazing tool for re-establishing those old, long-lost relationships. -Rick]