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Social Media

Old Media, Politicians, Bloggers Take Note: Social Media, Video Sites Transforming Internet Usage, Nielsen Report Says


(San Francisco, CA) — Online media use by Internet users is deepening and transforming, according to a new report on the online landscape released on April 22, 2009 by The Nielsen Company.

It is worth a read by bloggers and new media types.

This increased engagement is in part a result of a shift toward video content and social networking as popular online subcategories, according to Nielsen.

“The Internet remains a place of continuing innovation, with users finding new ways to integrate online usage into their daily lives,” said Charles Buchwalter, SVP, Research and Analytics, Nielsen Online.

“In recent years the Internet has changed dramatically as people seek more personalized relationships online. In particular, time spent on social networks and video sites has increased astronomically.”

Since 2003, interests of the average online user have shifted significantly.

Today the active Internet user tends to prefer sites that contain more specialized content. This change in preferences is seen in the fact that video and social networking sites have moved to the forefront, becoming the two fastest growing categories in 2009.

Highlights of the report regarding the two fastest growing subcategories — online video and social networks – include:

  • The number of American users frequenting online video destinations has climbed 339 percent since 2003.
  • Time spent on video sites has shot up almost 2,000 percent over the same period.
  • In the last year alone, unique viewers of online video grew 10 percent, the number of streams grew 41 percent, the streams per user grew 27 percent and the total minutes engaged with online video grew 71 percent.
  • There are 87 percent more online social media users now than in 2003, with 883 percent more time devoted to those sites.
  • In the last year alone, time spent on social networking sites has surged 73 percent.
  • In February, social network usage exceeded Web-based e-mail usage for the first time.

Here, in Illinois, for example, one can see the exploding use of video on Rich Miller‘s The Capitol Fax Blog, the state’s leading political news Web site. Miller, the site editor, publisher, and chief bottle washer, has dramatically expanded self-produced video posting of press conferences, interviews, etc during Spring 2009 legislative session.

The popularity of the video posts is prompting Miller to quickly upgrade his video equipment.

The result? Miller will transform the traditional text-based blog to a full-multi media news site. A boon to his business no doubt. Miller’s upgrade to video is a reflection of the trends Nielsen’s report has identified.

Other Illinois political bloggers should take note.

Nielsen’s full report on the global online landscape can be downloaded on The Nielsen Wire: http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/nielsen-news/online-global-landscape-0409/

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and Huffington Post blogger, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.

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David Ormsby, Editor

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