Posted December 5, 2011 5:29 pm by with 2 comments

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For marketers, going online often means business, but for 53% of young adults (18-29) going online is fun.

The stat comes from the latest Pew Internet & American Life Project report which looks at the internet as a diversion from work, school and life. The overall numbers show that Americans often go online for no particular reason. 58% of all adults said they’ve used the internet to waste time at some point. 34% said they did it yesterday.

Here’s a charming graphic that breaks it down by age:

As the report points out, the increased access to broadband is largely responsible for the trend. With broadband access comes the ability to watch more videos and play games.

The other reason for the increase in “fun” time, is social media, which is one of the internet’s biggest time sucks. According to Nielsen, Americans spent 53.3 billion minutes on Facebook in just one month. I suppose a fraction of that time could have been for business, but you know that majority was spent playing games and posting funny photos.

For marketers, this is good news. When people go online as a way to pass the time, they’re open to whatever catches their eye. They’ll stop to watch your video or play with a widget that turns their Facebook friends into vampires.

These numbers also feed into the concept of gamification. It’s all about positioning your brand so it’s fun and engaging. Add that to your list of things to brainstorm for the new year, then go have some fun on the internet. Watch cats play piano or make an elf of yourself ,cause even online marketers are allowed to waste some time online.

  • The data only reinforces the need for businesses to further explore social media and users’ behavior in social networking sites. That would make for more efficient and targeted marketing.

  • I would agree on the “gamification” concept. Combined with social media marketing it seem the way forward.