Americans spend more time daily on social media than any other major Internet activity, including email. And a recent report from BI Intelligence finds that Facebook absolutely dominates in terms of time spent per user. Meaning, not only is Facebook the biggest social network, but individual users of Facebook spend way more time on the site than users of other social networks.
Why does this matter?
New social networks seem to debut every week. And as people adopt these networks, people’s social activity becomes increasingly fragmented. While it’s easy to sign up for yet another social service, it’s important to understand which social networks really are capturing user attention for sustained periods of time, and getting users to engage with content on the sites.
In the report, BI Intelligence looks at how time-spend is distributed across different networks. We explore some of the breakout surprises, including the networks that are seeing engagement grow faster than overall audience size, identify what kinds of activities are popular on the different networks, and how compelled users are to participate there, rather than to simply scroll their feed.
Here are some of our findings:
- Social is now the top Internet activity: Americans spend more time on social media than any other major Internet activity, including email.
- Social-mobile rules: 60% or so of social media time is spent not on desktop computers but on smartphones and tablets.
- Facebook has a monster lead in engagement: Facebook is a terrific absorber of audiences’ time and attention, 114 billion minutes a month in the U.S. alone, on desktop PCs and smartphones. By comparison, Instagram commands 8 billion minutes a month, ahead of Twitter, at just 5.3 billion.
- Facebook attracts roughly seven times the engagement that Twitter does, when looking at both smartphone and PC usage, in per-user terms.
- Snapchat is a smaller network than WhatsApp, but on par in terms of time-spend per user.
- Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn have made major successful pushes in 2013 to increase engagement on their mobile sites and apps. The new race in social media is for engagement across all devices.
- While mobile is where people are increasingly consuming social media, the desktop still leads as the place where they are interacting on social networks — posting, sharing, and commenting.