NEW YORK: Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Google+ are leading a trend for Americans to spend up to a quarter of their online time on social networks and blogs, according to a new report.
The findings are contained in a study released by Nielsen entitled State of the Media: The Social Media Report. It was compiled by mining the company's online and mobile panels, online metrics, and conducting a survey of 2,000 Americans.
The report found social networks and blogs make up nearly 25% of the time Americans spend online. Additionally, around 40% of social media users access social content through their phones.
Many popular social media sites experienced massive growth in recent months. Tumblr, for example, tripled in size in the past year, and Google+ and LinkedIn also experienced significant growth, proving how central social networks are to consumers' lives.
Across the 10 global markets surveyed, social networks and blogs were the top Internet destination and accounted for the majority of time spent online by consumers in each country.
Mobile social media use is growing, with 37% of consumers now accessing sites from their mobile devices. Notably, internet users above the age of 55 are driving the growth of social networking over mobile platforms, with a 109% increase in visits to social networking sites from their mobile phones.
“The centrality is not going to go away,” said Radha Subramanyam, SVP of consumer insights and analytics at Nielsen. “Across corporate America, we're all going to have to think about how social touches everything we do, and how to set ourselves up for social.”
Subramanyam added that the increasing adoption of social networks has significantly changed the relationship between brands and consumers, to the point where honesty and transparency are more important than ever before, as is social media monitoring and preparedness for social media crises.