Americans spend most online time on Facebook

Facebook becoming site that ate the Internet -- users averaged 4 hours there in June

Ever wonder what your co-worker or friend is doing online? The Nielsen Company has a pretty good idea what they're up to.

Nielsen Online reported this week that people spend more time on Facebook than any other Web site. The study also notes that 87.25 million U.S. users visited Facebook from home and work during June, and each of those spent an average of four hours, 39 minutes and 33 seconds on the site during the month.

Next in the popularity line was Yahoo and the sites and applications under its umbrella. More than 134 million U.S. users visited at least one of the Yahoo-owned sites or launched a Yahoo application during June, and they spent an average of three hours, 15 minutes and 55 seconds there.

AOL came in third with users averaging two hours, 43 minutes and 10 seconds there. Google came in fourth with two hours, 31 minutes and 8 seconds, while Microsoft came in fifth with two hours, 12 minutes and 20 seconds, according to Nielsen.

Facebook has been on quite a roll.

Early last month, Nielsen reported that Facebook saw a 700% increase from April, 2008, to April, 2009, in the time users were spending on the site.

Nielsen noted that Facebook isn't alone in its rapid rise. Twitter, though only the fifth most popular social networking site, saw users increase their time there by 3,712% over the same period.

The unexpected, for some, driver of Facebook's dramatic growth has been users who are far older than the college-age crowd that founded and built it, according to a report issued last week by iStrategyLabs.

Mirroring past reports about Facebook, iStrategyLabs data showed that while the number of Facebook's U.S. college and high school-age users declined over the past six months, its popularity among the 55-and-older crowd is booming. In fact, the number of 55-and-older Facebook users showed staggering growth -- 513.7% -- in the last six months, the digital consulting firm said.

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Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
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