Social networking drives rising internet use

Social media sites are continuing to demand the lion share of online users’ time, according to new figures from Nielsen Online. British people spent 4 billion minutes on consumer generated content sites in April, up 47% year-on-year.

Entertainment sites are also demanding an increasing amount of users’ time reporting an 8% rise to 6.8 billion minutes over the month. The use of search sites also increased 13% in April to 1.3 billion minutes.

The increase in time spent on these sites has led to a drop in the use of communications and content sites.

Nielsen says the amount of minutes Britons spent on communications sites, such as internet phone and instant messaging portals, fell by 10% year-on-year to 6 billion minutes, although e-mail as a category saw an increase from 1.8 billion minutes a year ago to 1.9 billion minutes in April.

Meanwhile, time spent on content sites, including traditional news and gaming, is down by 3% to 8.4 billion minutes.

Nielsen adds that on average Britons spent 4% more time online this April than they did over the same month last year.

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