What do Americans do online?

What Do Americans Do Online? Social Media and Online Gaming on the Rise

What do Americans do online?

How do you spend your time online? If you’re like most Americans, you’re probably spending a significant amount of time on social media sites and blogs, playing online games, and occasionally checking your email.

Nielsen research has released a study of how Americans spend their time online and the top 3 activities are:

1. Social Media (22.7%)
2. Online Games (10.2%)
3. Email (8.3%)

Some take-aways:

Social media and social media games are going to continue to account for a large amount of the time spent online. This is good news for Facebook and Zynga should be interesting for the Google/Slide acquisition as Google makes moves into social gaming.

Time spent watching videos and movies online is up 12% from last year. Streaming video is going to continue to grow, with companies like Netflix and Hulu leading the charge.

Email is trending downward while contact via social media is trending sharply upward. Email still gets a large share of time, but it’s a sharp drop of -28% from 2009 numbers.

How do Americans spend time on mobile devices?

Does this mean marketers should spend more dollars on social media marketing instead of email marketing?

Not necessarily. Email makes up 41.6% of the time we spend on mobile devices. More importantly, email marketing still drives action and is responsible for a significant amount of online and in-store purchases.

A large hunk of time — 34.3% of it — still falls into the “other” category, which isn’t specifically called out in this study, but I would attribute a big portion of this mystery time to surfing adult entertainment websites.

So who are the real winners here? Farmville, Facebook, and (probably) YouPorn.

Image credit: Nielsen

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