Social Sites Surpass Email Usage

    March 13, 2009

Social networking and blogging have become more popular than sending email, according to a new report from Nielsen.

More than two-thirds (67%) of the global online population now goes online to visit social networks and blogs.

"Social networking has become a fundamental part of the global online experience," says John Burbank, CEO of Nielsen Online.

"While two-thirds of the global online population already accesses member community sites, their vigorous adoption and the migration of time show no signs of slowing. Social networking will continue to alter not just the global online landscape, but the consumer experience at large. This study explains why."

The increasing reach of “Member Community” Web sites across 2008

Facebook is the most popular social network and is visited monthly by three in every 10 people online in the nine markets that Nielsen tracks social networking use. Orkut in Brazil has the largest domestic online reach (70%) of any social network in these markets.

One in every 11 minutes online worldwide is accounted for by social networking and blogging sites.

The social network and blogging audience is becoming more diverse in terms of age. The biggest increase in visitors during 2008 to "Member Community" Web sites globally came from the 35-49 year old age group (+11.3 million).

Mobile is playing an increasingly important role in social networking.  UK mobile users have the greatest tendency to visit a social network through their handset, with 23 percent doing so, compared to 19 percent in the U.S. These numbers are a significant increase over last year- up 249 percent in the UK and 156 percent in the U.S.