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Social Media Dominates Online Time


U.S. consumers continue to spend more time on social media sites than any other category of websites: roughly 20% of the total time they spend online via personal computer and 30% of total time spent online via mobile devices, according to Nielsen Media’s (the same folks that measure TV ratings) latest Social Media Report.

The total time U.S. consumers spent using social media—across PCs and mobile devices—increased 37% to 121 billion minutes in July 2012 as compared to 88 billion in July 2011.

Proliferation of new forms of mobile devices, e.g. tablets, mini-tablets, smartphones, along with faster access to the Internet is fueling growth in social media use. The PC remains the predominant device for social media access for U.S. consumers but social media use via mobile apps and the mobile Web rose at a quickening 63% in 2012 compared with 2011.

Facebook remains atop the growing heap of social network sites in the U.S. with 152.2 million visitors via PC and 74.3 million via mobile Web, “multiple times the size of the next largest social site across each platform,” the report authors note. Facebook’s also the top Web brand in the U.S. in terms of consumers’ time spent, with 17% of online PC time devoted to it.

Meanwhile, the universe of social media networks has exploded, “and countless sites are adding social features, or integrations,” the report authors found. Showing signs it may crack into the league of Facebook and Twitter, “Pinterest emerged as one of the breakout stars in social media for 2012, boasting the largest year-over-year increase in both unique audience and time spent of any social network across PC, mobile Web and apps.”

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