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.
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— Nielsen Business Media