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Social Networking and Blog Sites Capture More Internet Time and Advertising
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Social Networking and Blog Sites Capture More Internet Time and Advertising

Americans have nearly tripled the amount of time they spend at social networking and blog sites such as Facebook and MySpace from a year ago, according to a new report from The Nielsen Company.  In August 2009, 17 percent of all time spent on the Internet was at social networking sites, up from 6 percent in August 2008.

“This growth suggests a wholesale change in the way the Internet is used,” said Jon Gibs, vice president, media and agency insights, Nielsen’s online division. “While video and text content remain central to the Web experience – the desire of online consumers to connect, communicate and share is increasingly driving the medium’s growth.”

Among those taking note of this trend: advertisers.  Estimated online advertising spending on the top social network and blogging sites increased 119 percent, from approximately $49 million in August 2008 to approximately $108 million in August 2009 – all despite a recession. Share of estimated spend on these sites has doubled, from 7 percent of online ad spend in 2008 to 15 percent in 2009.

Year-over-Year Percent Change in Online Ad Spend by Industry (U.S., August 2009)

Estimated Spend on Top Social Network Sites Year-over-Year Percent Growth
Industry Aug-08 Aug-09 On Social Network Sites* On All Sites
Entertainment $1,097,700 $10,012,800 812% 40%
Travel $473,700 $2,198,200 364% -11%
Business to Business $683,400 $1,941,700 184% -8%
Automotive $1,110,200 $3,085,800 178% -26%
Health $1,131,500 $2,754,900 143% 8%
Web Media $11,231,800 $26,855,700 139% 30%
Software $526,400 $1,202,500 128% -29%
Financial Services $3,233,900 $6,415,900 98% -10%
Public Services $6,836,500 $13,203,100 93% 13%
Telecommunications $12,449,500 $23,550,300 89% -1%
Consumer Goods $1,913,400 $3,349,200 75% 8%
Hardware & Electronics $654,000 $1,022,900 56% -47%
Retail Goods & Services $8,101,400 $12,556,800 55% -12%
Source: The Nielsen Company

*Estimated spend on social networking sites is based off of data for the top ad-supported member community sites ranked by unique visitors in August 2009

Read the full press release.