Social media is continuing to play an increasingly large role in the life of the digitally connected user. As reported by eMarketer, amongst American web users who engaged with two or more technology platforms to communicate with others (including email or text messaging) in a given week, an average of 23 hours is spent on email, text and social per week.
The Popular Platforms
Email and Facebook were found to be the most used platforms, with 87% of users surveyed logging in weekly to use both the mediums to communicate. Following these was text messaging, used weekly by 68% of respondents. Surprisingly even niche social networks such as Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest saw over 10% of US Internet users logging in weekly.
The Growing Time Spent
Along with the general usage of the sites, the amount of time devoted to the social networks is in turn very high. Email and Facebook again topped these rankings, with an average of 7.8 hours weekly spent on email usage and 6.8 hours on Facebook. Interestingly, Google+ users were found to spend more time in a week on the network than Twitter users; 4.3 hours as compared to 4.2 hours.
Looking at the frequency of use, the photo-focused platforms, which are highly mobile-based, are especially popular. Instagram saw 70% of users logging in daily, and Snapchat, still fairly new, almost matched this number at 67%.
Are They Tiring?
As the time spent online and engaging on social platforms grows, even the most keen users are feeling the need for a break from all the technology. eMarketer reported that just over 50% of respondents claimed to have paused their digital lives at least occasionally last year in favour of face-to-face communication. Even more, 62%, had plans to do the same for the next year.
Despite this, last year the number of time daily spent by the average US user on social networks grew from 30 minutes to 37. That is, whilst users are aware of the amount of social time they are spending on technological devices, and so may want to cut down, the numbers of usage time are going up. This is important for DMOs to take account of as they devise their digital strategies; social network usage is continuously rising, users are dedicated to using a range of platforms, and all these platforms are growing increasingly intrinsic to the consumers’ lives.
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