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Forty percent of US online time is spent on just three activities, social networking, playing games and emailing, according to new data from The Nielsen Company.

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Web Users Dramatically Increase SocNet Time
Social networks accounted for 22.7% of US internet time, or 906 million hours, in June 2010, a significant 43% increase from the 15.8% share of time they commanded in June 2009. Online games came in a distant second with a 10.2% share of internet time in June 2010, or 407 million hours, a 10% year-over-year increase from 9.3%.

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Email Loses Luster
As social networking becomes an increasingly popular form of online communication, email is taking a hit. While email represented the third-largest use of internet time in June 2010 (8.3%, or 329 million hours), this marked a 28% decline from June 2009, when email accounted for 11.5% of internet time and was the second-largest usage component.

1/3 of Online Time Spent Communicating
Communication is a key component of internet users’ online time. Combining social networks, blogs, personal email and instant messaging into the category of communication, Nielsen found that it represents 36% of online time spent in the US.

Email Tops Mobile Activities
US mobile internet users show a different activity pattern from PC-based users. Email is the top way mobile users spend online time, representing 41.6% of mobile online time in June 2010. Portals remain as the second-heaviest activity on mobile Internet (11.6% share of time), while social networking has risen to account for a 10.5% share.

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Gaming Sites Surge in June
Online gaming sites surged in popularity between May and June 2010, according to comScore Media Metrix data. Americans looked to online gaming for entertainment in June 2010, with online gaming sites attracting nearly 103 million visitors during the month.

WildTangent Network took the top spot with 17.3 million visitors, up 6% from the prior month. GSN Games Network And CPMStar came next with 16.9 million visitors each, followed by Nickelodeon Casual games with 15.3 million (up 14%), EA Online with 15.1 million (up 2%), and Disney Games with 14.9 million (up 15%).

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