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BizReport : Internet : August 03, 2010

Email overtaken by gaming as 2nd most-popular online pastime

A recent snapshot of online life in the U.S. finds Americans spend their time socializing and gaming. In fact, gaming has overtaken email to become the second most popular way to wile away the hours on the Internet, found Nielsen.

by Helen Leggatt

nielsen.jpgIn June this year the average online American spent around 24 hours surfing the web. Despite a plethora of things to do and explore there were just three things that Americans spent more time doing online than anything else - socializing (22.7% of time), gaming (10.2%) and emailing (8.3%).

However, while socializing and gaming continue to increase in popularity, emailing is no longer as popular an online pastime dropping in to third place behind gaming. However, that's not surprising when friends and family can be contacted and tracked via the likes of Twitter and Facebook.

"Despite some predictions otherwise, the rise of social networking hasn't pushed email and instant messaging into obscurity just yet," according to Nielsen's blog.

"Although both saw double-digit declines in share of time, email remains as the third heaviest activity online (8.3% share of time) while instant messaging is fifth, accounting for four percent of Americans online time."

Nor is it surprising that gaming has jumped into the number two spot on Nielsen's list of online time killers, particularly when social networking is on top. Why? Perhaps because social networks are fast becoming the places to go for online gaming, in particular free games such as the mega-successful FarmVille and Mafia Wars.

Tags: email, online gaming, online usage, social networks

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