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How do people spend their time online?

This news story was published on July 10, 2015.
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Now that the digital realm forms such a massive part of our daily lives, it’s increasingly important to businesses and advertisers to know exactly what we’re doing in the online environment.

There’s a bewildering variety of activities available on the internet ranging from entertainment, shopping and social media, and with the average American spending over one hour per day online, many are speculating as to what will be the key growth areas.

Social media

social-media-488886_640The internet’s biggest success story of the past decade is social media. With sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram offering the people the chance to express themselves socially in the digital environment, it’s thought that this occupies about around a fifth of all people’s time online.

And with an average of 250 million tweets and 800 million Facebook updates occurring every day, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that this is now a central part of many people’s lives.


Chromecast_plugged_into_TVAs technology has improved, so has the quality and breadth of entertainment options online. With film sites such as Netflix offering the latest film releases to be streamed to your home, and iTunes revolutionising the way in which we interact with music, there’s been a massive change as to how we consume our media.

It is thought that 13% of our time online is now spent on multimedia sites, and a key part of this is online gaming with the average American spending 19 minutes per day playing games via the internet. These can take a variety of forms from highly popular online gambling sites like Uptown Aces, to massively multiplayer online games like World of Warcraft.

Online shopping

15136937762_ab5e30e226_bSimilarly, the way that people shop for products has also experienced a massive change thanks to the rise of online technologies. It is estimated that 5% of our time online is spent shopping which has led to the rise of many internet only businesses such as Amazon and Asos that are able to take advantage of the lower overheads to offer a greater range of products at lower prices.

Online searches

search-engine-76519_640Interestingly, the most visited site online is the Google search engine. It seems that many people use this page as an entry portal into finding out information about their desired topic, and as such searching online accounts for 21% of our online activity.


Screen Shot 2015-07-10 at 8.08.49 AMAnd finally, although many predicted its demise with the rise of social media applications, it seems that email is still accounting for a large amount of our time online. With 92% of all internet users still regularly using email on a daily basis, it looks like the basic theme of communication is still the internet’s main attraction.

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