What do you spend most of your online time doing? According to data from Experian Hitwise, a data collection company that tracks online use habits, in February this year 14% of Internet visits in the UK were to entertainment sites, followed by 13% to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Entertainment may include things such as watching online TV, music videos or playing best bingo online . In fact, just what is classed as ‘entertainment’ is a little bit hazy. Someone’s idea of entertainment might not be another’s. What would you class as entertainment?
Online gaming, along with social networking, is one of the biggest growing sections of the Internet. More and more people, particularly women are choosing to play games online for the first time.
According to a 2011 survey by Doritos, 49% of women regularly play online games, just one percentage point less than men. More interestingly, women actually devote more time to online games than their male counterparts, devoting 23.2% of their online time to games compared to 22.3% for men. Female games are so fond of playing online they’d rather play games than go shopping.
The type of games enjoyed by men and women is quite different however. Men love to shoot-em-up on Halo, favouring a more competitive game strategy. Women on the other hand, prefer to work as a team on social gaming sites or devote time to more playful games such as online bingo or test their wits on problem solving games.
ComScore, another online data collection company, found 80% of the UK’s total Internet users now watch TV online. In January this year 34.2 million Britons watched 8.4 billion videos for 58.8 billion minutes. The vast majority of these videos were streamed from YouTube, generally short music and informational videos, which is probably why online viewing still only makes up around 1.4% of the UK’s total TV viewing.
However, what is interesting is the social element to video watching. Just as social gaming is becoming more popular, so is social TV viewing. The number of people engaging with online video grew by 42% in the six months preceding January 2012. This doesn’t even include engagement between on- and offline sources such as when users comment on TV shows using Twitter.
Internet users are also more inclined to source news from social media as the most trusted source of information after friends and family. Social picture sharing sites such as Flickr, Pinterest and Instagram are growing rapidly, largely thanks to the proliferation of smartphones with good quality cameras.
Women are more inclined to use social media. The Office of National Statistics’ 2011 Internet Activities figures found women spend 60% of their online time social networking; men conversely spend 54% on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Whether gaming, chatting, newsgathering, video watching or photo sharing, it seems we are a nation of social media consumers.
Sue Trevor Bio
Sue, a financial Journalist, has been a financial buff for decades. She has published articles in VRL Financial News and Euro Money and is a member of the Financial News Society. She loves to write about news, finance and travel.