People spend a quarter of their time online on social networking: Experian

MUMBAI: Insights from Experian, the global information services company, reveals that if the time spent on the Internet was distilled into an hour then a quarter of it would be spent on social networking and forums across UK, US and Australia. In the UK 13 minutes out of every hour online is spent on social networking and forums, nine minutes on entertainment sites and six minutes shopping.

The figures are similar in the US with 16 minutes spent on social media, nine minutes on entertainment and five minutes on shopping. Australian Internet users spend 14 minutes on social sites, nine on entertainment and four minutes shopping online.

Across all three markets, time spent shopping online grew year-on-year, but the UK emerged as having the most prolific online shoppers, spending proportionally more time on retail websites than online users in North America or Australia. British Internet users spent 10 per cent of all time online shopping in 2012, compared to nine per cent in the US and six per cent in Australia. This was in part due to a bumper Christmas season in the UK where 370 million hours were spent shopping online, 24 per cent higher than the monthly average.

Consumption of news content also increased across all three markets with Australian users emerging as the most voracious consumers of news online. Six per cent of all time spent online in Australia in 2012 was on a news website, compared to five per cent in the UK and four per cent in the US.

Meanwhile, the time spent on social media proportionate to other online activities declined across all three regions. The US, which has been the most dominant market for social media consumption in the last three years dropped from 30 per cent of all time spent online to 27 per cent. In Australia time spent on social dropped from 27 per cent to 24 per cent whilst in the UK it dipped from 25 per cent to 22 per cent year-on-year.

This highlights the rise in access via 3G and 4G networks as consumers spend increasingly more time online while on the move.

Experian Marketing Services digital marketing manager James Murray commented, "The online landscape is constantly changing and we‘ve seen some pretty dramatic shifts in consumer behaviour across different geographic regions and in the various vertical markets.

"Consumers are changing the way they interact online and the rise of 3G and now 4G mobile internet access means more visits are being made on the move, particularly in social and email. As brands become increasingly global entities it‘s more important than ever to understand the differences between regional online behaviours so that marketing campaigns can be tailored for better and more effective brand engagement."

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