As we detail in our new GWI Social report (you can download a free summary), GlobalWebIndex has been tracking the daily time that people spend on various forms of media since 2012. By asking our 170,000 annual respondents how long they typically devote to the internet as well as online and offline forms of TV, press and radio, we can build a detailed profile of media behaviors.
What’s strikingly clear from our data is that the internet is capturing more and more of our time each day – with total hours spent online via PCs, laptops, mobiles and tablets growing from 5.55 in 2012 to 6.15 in 2014. One of the drivers of this is still-increasing levels of engagement with social networks, which have climbed from a daily average of 1.61 to 1.72 hours over the period in question. Micro-blogs have risen too, now typically capturing 0.81 hours per day.
As a share of the time we spend online, these engagement figures mean that social networking now accounts for almost 30% of our daily internet activities, with micro-blogging approaching the 15% mark. That’s important food-for-thought given how many commentators have been willing to proclaim that the social networking “bubble” has burst and that the top networks are dying. Rather, we’re actually spending more time on networks now than in the earlier part of the decade – with the rise of the mobile internet, and the ability it affords us to connect to networks at any time and from any location, being a major driver of this.