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BizReport : Internet : September 18, 2009

OPA: Content is king online

On the Internet, content is king - not social networks or email - but good quality, engaging content, according to new analysis by the Online Publishers Association.

by Helen Leggatt

opa logo.jpgMarketers, there's no need to rush to social networking websites believing that that's where everyone is hanging out all the time. While Facebook users might well spend over five hours on the social networking website each month, more of an Internet surfer's time is spent consuming content.

In fact, users spent 88% more time consuming content on the Internet each month in 2009 (7 hours) than they did six years ago (3 hours, 42 minutes), according to the Online Publishers Association's Internet Activity Index (IAI).

In contrast, Internet users currently spend only 27% of their time on communication websites such as Yahoo Mail, MSN Group and AOL Instant Messenger compared to 2003 when they spent 46% of their online time doing so. The emergence of social networking websites is mostly to blame.

"These new sites have had significant impact on the communications category, which saw a 41% decline, due to the fact consumers are using community sites where they can conduct these same activities more efficiently," said Pam Horan, president of the OPA.

As for other categories, Internet users spend 5% of their time on search sites, up from 3% in 2003, and 13% of their time at commerce sites, down from 16% five years ago.

Tags: commerce, communication, content, email, online behavior, search, social networks

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