Social Networks Take Up A Quarter Of Web Time

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Tumblr and other social networks are catching up to Facebook in the social networking arena, according to Nielsen

Social network usage accounts for 25 percent of US web users’ time spent online, with Facebook leading the way at more than 53 billion total minutes spent online during May, according to research from Nielsen.

Americans, who also visited Blogger, Tumblr, Twitter and LinkedIn a fair bit, spend more time on Facebook than on any other website in the US Users also spent 17.2 billion minutes on Yahoo and 12.5 billion minutes on Google.

Facebook in the lead

That Facebook commands the bulk of time spent online should come as no surprise. Facebook said its users spend over 700 billion minutes per month there.

The social network has over 750 million active users, with the average user having 130 friends with whom they connect and share information. It’s easy to get lost for an hour or two checking status updates, publishing status updates, or uploading and watching photos and videos on Facebook.

The company, which is expected to file for an initial public offering in 2012, recently made its privacy features more granular and is expected to launch several interesting consumer and developer-facing tools at its F8 conference on 22 September.

Google would love Google+, which reportedly has 30 million users, to grab as many eyeballs as Facebook. For now it would settle for gaining steady tractions for a couple of years to eventually catch Twitter at 200 million users, or LinkedIn at 130 million users.

Interestingly, Nielsen found increasing evidence that Tumblr “is an emerging player in social media” after the micro-blogging tool, which lets users post status updates, photos and videos, almost tripled its audience from 2010 on word of mouth. Users generated over 21,000 messages and links to the site in May, said Nielsen.

Tumblr growth

Nielsen isn’t the only source citing explosive Tumblr growth. Royal Pingdom said there are nearly 28 million blogs on Tumblr, compared with 7 million a year ago. There are 37.5 million Tumblr posts per day.

Nielsen also found that nearly 40 percent of social software users access content from their mobile phone, with social networking applications the third most-used among US smartphone owners.

This is a big reason Facebook is upgrading its mobile applications, such as Facebook for iPhone and Facebook for Android. The company claims 250 million active users who frequent Facebook through their mobile devices.

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