Study: Web Users Reading More
In 2003, Internet users were spending about one-third of their
time viewing content. Now, researchers say users spend about
half of their Web time reading information, according to a study
by the Online Publishers Association. Taking the backseat is
e-mailing, to which users are devoting one-third of their
Internet users spend nearly half of their time online viewing
content, according to a study by the Online Publishers
Association. That's up from just over a third of online time
spent with content in 2003, according to the group's Internet
Overall, Internet users are spending more time online, which
means more minutes dedicated to all measured activities,
association spokesperson Don Marshall told TechNewsWorld.
Only one category has remained relatively stable since 2003:
Users spent 16 percent of their online time performing
commerce-related activities then and spend about 15 percent of
their time on commerce now.
E-Mail and Content Switch Positions
In 2003, people spent about one-third of their time online using
communication tools, such as e-mail Email Marketing Software -
Free Demo, according to the association's data, which is
gathered by Nielsen//Net Ratings. After a gradual growth in the
use of online content, those two activities now have switched
positions. The shift can be attributed partly to the amount of
content available now, said the association.
Internet users have begun to turn to Web sites for information
they traditionally gather offline, said Marshall. For example,
many Internet users now cite online channels as their primary
sources of news and weather information. In addition, tasks that
previously occurred exclusively offline -- checking movie times,
for instance -- now occur primary online.
Social networking sites also have become sources of information
in addition to providing a channel for communication among
Internet users. The same goes for blogs, which serve up content
in the form of authors' entries but also provide information
exchange in the form of comments.
IM Adds Speed
During the same period as the explosion in online content,
online messaging has seen a trend toward efficiency, according
to the association. Much more communication between individual
Internet users happens in the form of instant messaging (IM) now
than in 2003. Thus, people can send communications more quickly
than in the days when e-mail was the exclusive interpersonal
"IM and text messaging is a primary communication method for
many people," said Marshall. Many of those people are in a
younger generation for which texting is perhaps the first
Web-based channel they learned to use. Others are adapting to
the speed and flexibility of IM over e-mail, he noted.
Although online searching accounts for a relatively small
portion of Internet users' time, the activity has seen a large
percentage of growth in recent years. In 2003, people spent
about 3 percent of their online minutes performing searches. In
2007, that total grew to 5 percent -- a 35 percent increase.
08/14/07 10:38 AM PT