UK internet use up 65% in last three yearsSocial networking sites top UK internet use chart

19 May 2010

Facebook has boosted social networking popularity

Social networking and blogging are the most popular online activities in the UK

Blogs and social networking sites such as Facebook have leapfrogged instant messaging to become UK internet users' most popular way of spending time online. 

The UK Online Measurement Company (UKOM) revealed this as part of their analysis of how UK web users' online habits have changed over the last three years. 

Britons spent 65% more time online in April 2010 than they did in April 2007, according to UKOM's research, but there's been a seismic shift in how web users split their time between different types of internet use. 

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Email holds second place online

Social networking and blogs now account for nearly 23% of online users' time, compared to less than 9% three years ago - an increase of 340%. Emailing - which many predicted would suffer at the hands of social networking - remains the second favourite activity of UK web users, taking up a 7.2% share of internet time. 

UKOM says that if all UK April 2010 internet time was condensed into a single hour, the six most widely used activities would account for around half an hour:

  • Social networks and blogs - 13 minutes 36 seconds per hour
  • Personal email - 4 minutes 18 seconds per hour
  • Games - 4 minutes 6 seconds per hour
  • Instant messaging - 2 minutes 54 seconds per hour
  • Classifieds/auctions such as Ebay - 2 minutes 48 seconds per hour
  • Portals such as Yahoo! - 2 minutes 24 seconds

Will online news be the death of newspapers?

According to UKOM, online news now accounts for just under 3% of internet users' time - a tiny amount compared to blogging and social networking. 

However online news has experienced strong growth in popularity compared to three years ago, with people in the UK now spending more than three times longer on news sites than they did in 2007.

Which? internet expert Ceri Stanaway says: 'It comes as no surprise that social networking and blogging top UKOM's online chart. Once considered the territory of technophiles, the advent of user-friendly websites such as Facebook and Twitter has turned online communication and networking sites into arguably a must-have method of staying in touch in the modern age.'

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