Social outgrows online entertainment


Hitwise today brought the news that social media is now more popular than online entertainment in the UK:

Social Media vs Entertainment Feb 2011

It’s also important to note that Hitwise’s definition of “social media” doesn’t include blogs, so this moment probably happened some time ago. As Robin Goad says:

Social networks continue to grow in dominance and for the first time ever, social media has become the single biggest activity online in the UK, overtaking the Entertainment category.

During January 2011 social networks accounted for 12.4% of all UK Internet visits. Across the 9,000 social networks that we monitor, there were over 2.4 billion visits from UK Internet users during the month – more than in any other month on record.

In 2010 alone visits to the Experian Hitwise Social Networks and Forums category increased by 17%. Not only are people visiting social sites more regularly, the time they spend on these websites is increasing, with the average session time spent on a social network in January 2011 being 22 minutes.

The range and diversity of social networks is also on the up. Facebook may be the dominant social network in the UK, accounting for 56% of traffic to the industry during January, but social media users are rarely tied exclusively to just one social network. Indeed, the interaction between different social sites is significant, as users dart between multiple networks in order to chat to their various groups of friends and associates.