Online time is on social media’s side

As everyone knows, the internet is a wonderful thing to waste time on and social media is often singled out as the biggest cause of this timewastery. Now comScore’s Media Metrix service has delivered some local proof, with its recent study on internet usage in New Zealand showing social networking is the most popular online activity, accounting for one of every five minutes spent online in May.

In terms of the gender split, the research showed the ladies enjoy nattering with their virtual friends more than men, with females spending 5.4 hours per month on social networking sites, compared to 3.7 hours per month for males (no word on whether Alasdair Thompson has put this increase in female social media usage down to their additional time off).

“As one of the more mature markets in the Asia Pacific region, New Zealand is home to a digitally savvy audience base,” said Amy Weinberger, comScore vice president for Australia and New Zealand. “New Zealanders have a strong propensity to connect online, whether it is to other people through social networking or to content and information through access points such as entertainment and news destinations. Finding ways to reach and engage these audiences presents significant marketing opportunities to both local and global brands.”

As far as most-visited web properties go, Microsoft sites topped the list, reaching 97 percent of web users aged 15 and older in the country (the StopPress tech nerds believe that’s largely because anyone who uses Internet Explorer and doesn’t know how to change their homepage goes straight to MSN). Google sites ranked second reaching 94 percent of visitors, followed by Yahoo! sites in third reaching 86 percent.

Facebook saw the strongest engagement of the top ten properties with visitors averaging more than five hours on the site during the month. Web properties based in New Zealand or Australia captured the next three positions in the ranking with Fairfax Media, APN News & Media and Trade Me all reaching more than half of the online population.

When looking at how New Zealanders spent their time online, social networking led as the most engaging online activity accounting for 21 percent of all online minutes in the country. Portals followed in second at 14 percent of total minutes, with entertainment sites ranking third at 12 percent of minutes. Rounding out the top five were news/information (seven percent of time spent) and auctions (seven percent) categories.

Although males and females account for nearly the same percentage of visitors to the social networking category, females exhibit far stronger engagement, with females averaging nearly 50 percent more time on social networking sites than males (5.4 hours vs. 3.7 hours).

Not surprisingly, females aged 15-24 averaged the most time social networking at seven hours per visitor, while males age 15-24 averaged six. When compared to an average internet user, females were 15 percent more likely to view pages on social networking destinations, while males were 16 percent less likely to consume pages.

To download a complimentary copy of The State of the Internet New Zealand, click here.



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