Latest Research Reveals Social Media Usage Up 43%

Have you started noticing the following symptomatic behaviours?

1. The laptop is now spending more time in your bedroom rather than the office

2. Your checking your Facebook updates before you go to the bathroom in the morningLatest Research Reveals Social Media Usage Up 43 percent

3. You communicate via a Facebook private message rather than use email

If  that is the case you are not alone. Recently I was having a conversation with a friend of mine and he had been trying to contact a relative in another country and despite trying numerous types of technology such as email, SMS and telephone was not immediately successful. Finally he was  able to get in touch and when they had a conversation her initial response was “why didn’t you contact me on Facebook?”

It appears that social media network use (and possible addiction)  has increased significantly in the past 12 months. The latest figures from Nielsen are showing that social media network use is up by 43 percent from 15.8 percent of  online time in 2009 to 22.7 percent  in 2010.

Nielsen Research showing 43 percent increase in social network use 2009 to 2010

The new research study by Nielsen also reveals that Americans spend 40% of their time online with just three activities

  • Social Networking (22.7% of time online)
  • Online Games (10.2% )
  • Email (8.3%)

This graphic image really highlights the domination of online time by social networks. What should also be kept in mind is that a lot of online gaming is actually social gaming (people competing in online games as a social network activity) and should be included in some part of the activity time online in social networks.

Nielsen Research showing 43 percent increase in social network use 2009 to 2010 1 hour

Some of the other findings were.

  • Online games overtook personal email to become the second most heavily used activity behind social networks – accounting for 10 percent of all U.S. Internet time.
  • Email dropped from 11.5 percent of time to 8.3 percent.
  • Videos was the only other to experience a significant growth in share of U.S. activity online grew by 12 percent from 3.5 to 3.9 percent.
  • June 2010 was a major milestone for U.S. online video as the number of videos streamed passed the 10 billion mark.
  • The average American consumer streaming online video spent 3 hours 15 minutes doing so during the month.
  • Email is the dominant use of mobile internet users at 41.6 percent of time spent
  • Portals are the second heaviest activity on mobile internet with 11.6 percent
  • Social network use on mobile is placed third at 10.5 percent (up significantly from last year)
It appears that the way we communicate is rapidly changing and companies and brands need to aware of this in their marketing and communication planning.


  • June Stoyer

    It used to be that your mother would yell at you for watching too much tv. Now you can watch tv on you cell phone! Imagine if we still used two cups and a string! lol

    Social media has definitely replaced a lot of face to face socializing. I just wonder if it will wind up having an impact on crime and actually reduce it. If people are not out and about you would think that would be a good thing.

  • @SerendipityJane

    The many ways in which we can communicate, one should think we improve our communication skills. However, I don’t think it is the case.
    The point about “addiction” is taken… (note to self: set an IV so you can comment each time someone posts a comment to a post ;-))

  • Richard Bejah

    Thanks for the useful statistics.. as usual RICH :0)

  • Julie Pianto

    Technology has brought about such a massive change in our lives. In some ways it doesn’t really matter if it is for good or not – because I don’t think it is going away!

    The statistics on time spent on search vs social media should raise some eyebrows at Google one would hope!

    Thanks for the useful info.

  • Melody Lea Lamb

    I think the rise in social media is exciting… as are all the quickly changing trends on the internet! We have to continue to be flexible, open minded, and willing to change quickly to adapt. Thanks for a great post!

  • Robert Pickstone

    Thanks for the stats. Very interesting but not too surprising. If you are a social media addict, are you an intelligent one?

  • Clinton R. Lanier

    This is some great info, thanks for sharing. I noticed that search gained 1% of time, I wonder what the implications for that could be: are we turning to online search more often? Not satisfied with our search results and so spending more time sorting and refining? Is it due to an explosion in content over the last year?