Email Losing out to Social Networking
The Online Publishers Association has released the results of another study—a six year analysis of its Internet Activity Index. Can you guess which of the five areas (Commerce, Communications, Community, Content and Search) has grown the most—and which has shrunk?
The most surprising results actually aren’t in Community and Communications. Yes, email (Communications is down), the only area to fall over those six years. And Community is up, largely because it wasn’t being tracked in 2003. (If only Chuck Norris were here—you know, because he can divide by zero?). But we’ve seen that for six months
No, the big winner here looks to be content sites (the OPA’s pet project) and search. Percentage wise, search has actually grown the most, with a 111% increase in time spent on site over the 2003 numbers—but the raw numbers aren’t nearly so impressive.
|Category||2003 Avg Time* (hours: minutes)||2009 Avg Time (hours: minutes)||Change in Time|
*Note: 2003 average is May through December 2004, and 2009 average is January through May 2009.
Note, too, that total Internet time has increased 59% in those three years. Content sites now receive the most time on site (over half total Internet time), but communications is still the #2 activity. Community sites get one sixth of our online time.
I find the label “Communications” versus “Community” interesting. Most people, I find, are on community sites to communicate—whether with one friend or as many people as possible. Taken that way, the combined total time on those categories is 7 hours and 55 minutes—which beats content sites.
What do you think? Have you seen a decrease in communications and email, or do you think that’s kind of a false distinction from community sites?