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UKOM shines a light on changing UK web usage

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One in every four and a half UK minutes online accounted for by Social Networks & Blogs. Growth of news site usage outstrips portals

UKOM (The UK Online Measurement Company) has revealed how Britain’s use of the web has grown and developed over the past three years: we spent 65 percent more time online in April 2010 (884 million hours) than we did in April 2007 (536 million hours), according to the measurement system.

In April 2007, Social Networks & Blogs accounted for less than 9 percent of all UK Internet time (one in every 11 minutes) but in three years the sector has grown to account for almost 23 percent of UK Internet time – the equivalent of one in every four and a half minutes. In other words, if all April 2010 UK Internet Time was condensed into one hour, 13 ½ minutes would be spent on Social Networks & Blogs (see Chart 1).

In absolute terms, the time spent on Social Networks & Blogs between April 2007 and April 2010 has increased by 340 percent, from 40 million hours to 176 million. Only the Coupons/Rewards (516 percent) and Food & Cooking (363 percent) sectors have seen larger relative growth in total time.

The most heavily used sectors, following Social Networks & Blogs, are personal (non-work) Email (7.2 percent share of time / 56 million hours) and Online Games (6.9 percent share / 53 million hours) (see Charts 2a / 2b).

The online news sector has also seen strong growth with Britons now spending 212 percent more time on news sites (22 million hours in April 2010) than they did three years ago (7 million hours in April 2007). Consequently, news sites account for 2.8 percent of online time compared to 1.5 percent three years ago – a relative increase in share of 84 percent.

By contrast, Britons are spending 87 percent more time on on portals (such as Yahoo! And MSN) than three years ago – 31 million hours in April 2010 compared to 17 million three years ago. Consequently the Portals’ share of online time has seen a smaller relative increase of 10 percent, from 3.7 to 4.0 percent.

Chart 1: If all April 2010 UK Internet Time was condensed into one hour, how many minutes would be spent on most heavily used sectors

UKOM web use diagram


Chart 2a: Leading UK sectors by April 2010 share of total UK Internet time – and change in share since April 2007 (ranking for “share of time” and “total time” are the same)
UKOM stats


Chart 2b: Leading UK sectors by April 2010 total UK Internet time – and change in total since April 2007 (ranking for “share of time” and “total time” are the same)

UKOM stats


See how the BBC covered the story - Britons spend more than 'one day a month online'

Video of UKOM's Alex Burmaster discussing the stats with Rory Cellan-Jones.

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