Facebook represents the largest share of time spent by US internet users of the top five most-visited websites, according to a new white paper from comScore. “The 2010 US Digital Year in Review” indicates that Facebook increased its share of total US internet time 71% between December 2009 (7.2%) and December 2010 (12.3%).
Facebook Only Top 5 Site to Boost Engagement
Facebook is the only one of the top five US internet sites by audience to significantly increase its share of total US internet time between December 2009 and December 2010. Microsoft remained roughly flat at around 6%, while AOL slightly dropped from a little more than 4% to a little less than 4%.
Meanwhile, Google Sites slightly increased its internet time share to wind up accounting for close to 10%, and Yahoo went from a little more to a little less than the 10% mark.
SocNets Gain on Portals
While US internet users continue to spend the largest percentage of their online time visiting portals, social networking is steadily growing as portals start to slip. Between December 2009 and December 2010, portals lost about 6% of their online time share, dropping from 21.6% to 20.4%. During the same time period, social networks increased their online time share by 36%, rising from 10.6% to 14.4%.
The entertainment category ranked third with a 12.6% share, up 7% from 11.8%. Web-based email followed with an 11% share, down 12% from 12.5%.
Web-based Email Use Declines
As communication platforms and devices continue to proliferate, the usage of web-based email has begun to decline, particularly among younger consumers who are increasingly shifting toward instant messaging, social media, and mobile communications. Total web-based email usage declined 8% in the past year, with the most precipitous decline occurring among 12-17-year-olds (down 59%).
Usage also declined marginally among 18-24-year-olds (1%), and larger declines were seen among 25-34-year- olds (down 18%), and 35-54-year-olds (down 12%).
In contrast, however, web-based email usage actually gained among 55-64-year-olds (22%) and among those age 65 and older (up 285). comScore analysis indicates continued internet adoption by these older age segments contributed to their increased usage of web-based email.
Americans Mobilize for Email
While web-based email has witnessed a general decline during the past year, other recent comScore analysis indicates email usage via mobile devices has experienced significant growth, driven largely by increased smartphone adoption. In November 2010, 70.1 million mobile users (30% of all mobile subscribers) accessed email on their mobile devices, an increase of 36% from the previous year. Daily usage of email showed an even greater increase, growing 40% as 43.5 million users turned to their mobile devices for email.