Posted August 14, 2007 1:07 pm by with 11 comments

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If you had to add up all the time you spend online for your boss, how would you allocate it? The findings of a new study released from the Online Publishers Association might (or might not) surprise you. The study, conducted over the last four years by Nielson/NetRatings, found that Internet users are spending nearly half their time on content rich sites such as entertainment and news websites, with more time spent on this activity than shopping online, emailing, or searching on various search engines.

The abundance of content and faster online speeds accounted for the spike, the study said. A proliferation of social networks such as News Corps’ MySpace and Facebook have helped boost content viewing as well.

Overall, viewing content accounts for 47 percent of time spent online in 2007, up from 34 percent in 2003. Web search accounted for 5 percent of time spent online in 2007 from 3 percent in 2003.

I have to think that the increase in search engine use and social media obviously influences the amount of time we spend viewing content. Better, more accurate searches yield better results which naturally means were going to be spending more time reading online. Am I wrong?

The study also found that e-commerce sites like Amazon only accounted for 15 percent of time spent online in 2007; falling 5 percent, while time spent on communications like email fell 28 percent to 33 percent due to the increased use of instant messaging programs.

  • Eduardo Fenili

    I just think you have to take into consideration that the masses are slowly moving to the internet as their main news portal now. Even television news is dated compared to internet news…I am not even going to get into print news.

    On the email front, you have to consider social networking sites also taking a nice hunk of that percentage as well. I can’t count how many times (even though it annoys the hell out of me) that I get messages via social networking sites instead of emails.

  • I have no trouble believing that, on average, the majority of time spent on the internet is allocated to content rich sites. Just as Eduardo pointed out, the web has become the primary source for world news, current events, and entertainment for most of the public. When social networking sites like Facebook, which only continue to grow in popularity, are taken into account as well, this data makes even more sense. The average amount of time spent per day on social networking sites is staggering and although one might not originally think so, much greater than the amount of time spent online shopping or emailing.

  • I spent like 20% reading emails, 20% reading news, 20% checking interesting blogs like this :), 10% checking stats, 20% modifing/creating websites, the rest is IM.

  • i spent all of my time modifing my websites or reading someting about new. but i need more time. 24 hours isnt enoug for me.

  • I spend most of the time online reading forums and trying to understand social networking!

  • i wonder who is the most online:) i am online 13 hours a day. and i think it is a illness.

  • Good question, I know I am online at least 9 hours a day!

  • @ odev

    haha…I think I have that bug too.

  • My boss wants me on line.. 🙂 reading whatever I can-but this social media gettin past me!

  • well i spend it on design always

  • You miss the fact that we every time online with our cell phones. Try sometime to turn off your mobile for one day.