Apparently, Most People Vacationed In Farmville This August…

Dennis Ryan, Chicago Advertising, Element 79For the first time ever, Facebook took the top spot for total time spent among major sites last month, beating Google and Yahoo.  ComScore reports that collective time amounted to 41.1 billion minutes: a considerable number.  By my always-suspect math, that equals 685 million hours or 78, 296 years online, on Facebook, in August.  We invested that incredible amount of our free time, or time we fat fingered from our employers, posting and poking and mucking about on a site that didn’t exist six years ago.

And the staggering numbers extend beyond Facebook.  Yahoo! led all sites for unique visitors with 179 million, edging out Google’s 178.8 million.  Even more remarkably, recent Nielsen data shows we Americans spend nearly 23% of our free time online just on social networks; that’s up 43% since last year.  Social networking and blogs now outrank online games and email as the top online activity.

So if you’re wondering where the time goes, and why it seems every year passes more quickly than the last, there’s at least part of the explanation.  As a culture, we’ve found a whole new place to spend our time.  And exercise our collective OCD.

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By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79

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Miguel says:

Hi Dennis,
I’m only commenting because you mentioned something about online gaming. I’m really curious about this chunk of the market because I know people (well, guys, mostly) spend an ungodly amount of time playing games over the internet through their PS3s and XBox’s. So they are not visiting any sites, per se, they are on the networks of Sony and Microsoft. Playstation even has it’s own ‘world’ where you can create a ‘Sims-like’ character and interact with other people.

The culture of these gamers is what interests me the most, because these guys can talk over their headsets to one another. And people play each other all over the world. Granted, they mostly talk shit or geek out about the technical aspects of the game they are playing (the amount of racism and sexism you’ll find, is another story), but they are communicating via the games they are playing. I guess, I’m curious about any research anyone has done with this market, because it seems like a huge sub-culture in a way.

Hope you’re well and I’m still available for freelance, by the way. Ha.

Take care,
Miguel