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TOMORROW'S WORLD
17 Mar 2011
SOCIAL NETWORKS BEAT ENTERTAINMENT SITES AS MOST POPULAR UK ONLINE ACTIVITY

During January 2011 social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, collectively registered 2.4 billion UK internet visits and accounted for 12.4 per cent of all UK internet traffic, Experian Hitwise’s latest report found.

Until the start of this year, entertainment sites, such as ITV Player and Sky Sports.com, have been the most popular internet destinations in the UK, followed by social networks and search engines.

However, for the first time in January 2011, social networks took over the top spot and also claimed more of people’s minutes spent online in the UK. The average session time spent on a social network in January 2011 was 22 minutes.

The growth, according to Robin Goad, Experian Hitwise's Research Director, has largely been driven by Facebook’s increasing reach, which now has 30 million registered users in the UK.

Facebook accounted for 56 per cent of the UK’s social networking traffic during January, while YouTube and Twitter came in second and third place respectively.

Goad called YouTube the “elephant in the room” as Experian Hitwise counts the site as both a social network and an entertainment site. “It straddles both web genres as it displays both entertainment features and social tools – but its inclusion in both lists shows how much social and entertainment sites are starting come together.”

YouTube topped the list of most visited entertainment sites, closely followed by the BBC Homepage and BBC iPlayer.

Other popular social networks which were visited regularly in the UK during January 2011 include Linked and Tumblr.

Source: telegraph.co.uk

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