Consumers Spend More Time on Social Networking Sites Than Email
Online consumers are, on average, spending more time on social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn than on email, despite the former only becoming mainstream in many markets over the last few years.
This finding came from the Digital Life study, TNS Global's look into consumers’ digital behaviors and attitudes. The study seeks to go beyond behavior to understand the core emotional drivers behind what consumers do online. TNS completed its analysis of the results of the 46-country study in September. A total of 48,804 people aged 16 to 60 years old were interviewed.
In rapid growth markets such as Latin America, the Middle East and China, the average time spent per week on social networking is 5.2 hours compared to only four hours on email. Online consumers in mature markets, however, remain more reliant on email, spending 5.1 hours checking their inboxes compared to just 3.8 hours on social networking sites. The heaviest users of social networking are consumers in Malaysia (nine hours per week), Russia (8.1 hours per week) and Turkey (7.7 hours per week).
When it comes to who has more friends, online consumers in Malaysia top the list with an average of 233 friends in their social networks, closely followed by Brazilians with an average of 231 friends. The least social are the Japanese, with just 29 friends. Surprisingly, Chinese consumers only have an average of 68 friends in their networks despite being heavy users of social networking sites, indicating a culture that embraces fewer but closer friendships.
Additional findings from the report include the following:
• 61 percent of respondents use the internet daily versus 54 percent for TV, 36 percent for radio and 32 percent for newspapers;
• rapid growth markets such as Egypt (56 percent) and China (54 percent) have much higher levels of digital engagement than mature markets such as Japan (20 percent), Denmark (25 percent) and Finland (26 percent);
• 88 percent of online users in China and 51 percent of those in Brazil have written their own blog or forum entry, compared to just 32 percent in the U.S.;
• mobile users spend, on average, 3.1 hours per week on social networking sites compared to 2.2 hours on email; and
• 26 percent of U.S. online consumers expect their use of social networking on PCs to increase in the next 12 months compared to 36 percent who said they'll be increasing their social networking usage on their mobile phone.