Online Habits: Where Are We Going?

A study by Nielsen into the habits of Internet users in the United States of America might provide a guideline as to future Internet user habits round the globe, since the USA sets the trend in virtual reality. What were the findings of this study? For a start, a huge disparity in Internet access via PC and mobile means. And by 2014, the video will dominate nearly 100% of web-use?

The main finding from this study “What Americans do when they are online” conducted by the consulting house The Nielsen Company, which made two studies, one on the use of computers and the other on the habits of users with cell-phones, was that social networks are even more popular than at the same time last year, occupying nearly 23% of the user-time online, an increase of 43% over last year.

Social networks (22.7%) and online games (10.2%) (for example Facebook and Farmville) take up a third of the online time of US internet users, whereas at the same time last year these two activities represented just a quarter of the time occupied.

The big loser is the email accessed from the computer (falling from 11.5% to 8.3%) while videos/movies rose from 3.5 to 3.9%. However, access from smart phones is radically different: 41.6% of the time is spent in accessing e-mails, while in second place came portals (12%) and in third, on around 10%, social networks and blogs.

According to a report by Cisco, network equipment manufacturer, internet data traffic will reach 767 exabytes (one billion gigabytes) per year by 2014 and around 91% of net use will be occupied by videos, representing 72 million years of film production.

This trend has been confirmed in an interview by Suraj Shetty, Cisco Vice-President for Marketing Services, in an interview with Reuters. Mr. Shetty quoted the importance of sites such as YouTube and download facilities such as Netflix in popularity stakes among users.

Shailendra De SOUZA


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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey