Social Media Surpasses Search Sites; Facebook, Blogger & Tumblr in the Top Three

October 3, 2011, By Leo Xavier

A new study is suggesting that internet users dedicate more time to social networking sites than to sites which are heavily focused on search. Facebook appears to be the favorite for social media fans, followed by Blogger and Tumblr.

According to Nielsen’s study “State of the Media: The Social Media Report”, compiled in May 2011, US internet users spend one out of every four minutes on social networking, and four out of five people in the country access social media sites. The study also says that social media accounts for three out of four Internet users around the world.


Facebook appears to be leading the charts with US users alone spending 53.5 billion minutes on the site in May. This is a 6% increase when compared with the previous year.

Blogger (723 million minutes) came in at the second spot followed by Tumblr (623 million), Twitter (565 million) and LinkedIn (325 million).

Websites which are focused on search, such as Yahoo and Google, appear to trail considerably when it comes to minutes spent on the site. People spent just 17.2 million and 12.5 million minutes on Yahoo and Google respectively.

AOL, MSN and YouTube also fell behind with 11.4 million, 9.5 million, and 9.1 million minutes respectively.

But we are quite sure that this new info may not have come as a surprise for many of you. After all, social networking sites are, well, social. These sites facilitate engagement between online and offline friends, from sharing thoughts and photos, to posting tweets.

It definitely has not come as a surprise that connecting with the people we know would be one of the key activities.

Experts suggest that social media should be integrated into other media such as search. Since the results of the study show that US internet users spend more time on Facebook, it will be interesting if Google integrates Google+ more closely with search.

The study has also analyzed how offline activities, such as hitting the gym and spending heavily on shopping, are influenced by social media.

According to the study, when compared with the average adult internet user, those who use social networking sites are 75% more likely to spend more on digital music; 45% more likely to find a date; 47% more likely to spend more on clothing, shoes and accessories; 33% more likely to give out opinion on a TV program; 26% more likely to give their opinion on politics; 19% more likely to attend sports events; and 18% more likely to visit a health club.

The study has also revealed that many people who visit social networks create reviews for products and services which will help others make choices.

And about 40% of consumers now visit social media via mobile phones. These visits are only second to GPS use on mobile. And compared with last year, more than twice as many people aged above 55 now visit social sites on their handsets.
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