NEW YORK (MainStreet) – According to a new report from Nielsen, Americans spend nearly a quarter of their time on the Internet using social networks and blogs. And as always, the elephant in the room remains Facebook.
Americans now spend more time on Facebook than any other website – that includes you, Google – and the numbers are staggering: According to Nielsen, Americans spent 53 billion minutes on Facebook in the month of May alone.
That’s 883 million hours per month. Put another way, it’s the equivalent of having 5.5 million people with full-time jobs do nothing but look at Facebook from 9-5. (Which, for many office workers, might actually be the case.)
No other social network even comes close in drawing visitors. Facebook pulled in more than 140 million unique visitors in May; coming in second was Blogger with 50 million visitors, and among actual social networks, Twitter was the closest at around 23 million visitors for May. MySpace still managed to pull in 19 million people for the month, and Tumblr drew close to 12 million – triple the visitors it drew the same time last year. Google+, which didn’t debut until the end of June, obviously wasn’t included in the rankings; given how its traffic has declined even as membership has grown, it’s unlikely to make a real dent in the near future.
While there are obviously a great many Internet users who use multiple social networking platforms, the different networks do have unique demographics. Twitter, for instance, is the preferred social network for African-Americans, while 62% of Facebook users are female. Teen girls are best represented on Tumblr than on any other network.
The proliferation of smartphones has only made it easier for people to spend endless hours on social networks. Social networking apps are the third most popular category of apps, behind games and weather. And if you’re looking at actual time usage on apps, social networking is second only to games as a time waster.