Consumers spend more time on social networks than on any category of websites; total time spent on social increased 37 percent YoY this July, at 121 billion minutes that month. PC users spend approximately 20 percent of their online time in social networks, while mobile users are even more prolific at 30 percent, according to a recent Nielsen study.
PCs are still the most popular way to access a social site, though mobile apps and mobile web access has risen 63 percent in 2012.
Facebook continues to dominate the social scene as the most-visited social network in the U.S. 152.2 million visitors access Facebook via PC, while mobile apps see 78.4 million users and the mobile web is responsible for another 74.3 million. According to Nielsen, Facebook is multiple times the size of the next largest social site across each platform.
Consumers have countless social sites to choose from, with Blogger, Twitter, WordPress, LinkedIn and Pinterest coming in after Facebook in order of popularity.
“Consumer attitudes towards advertising on social media are still evolving,” noted Deirdre Bannon, Nielsen’s social media practice lead. “Though roughly one-third of social media users find ads on social networking sites more annoying than other types of Internet advertisements, research suggests there are opportunities for marketers to engage with consumers via social media.”
Facebook decision-makers are well aware of the delicate balance between the social and advertising experiences. Sheryl Sandberg told Q3 2012 earnings call investors they are testing and monitoring user engagement and sentiment carefully. Some revenue is moving from the righthand column to the newsfeed; Facebook is doing this intentionally, as “that’s where the action is on mobile.”
Nielsen’s report shows that tolerance to social advertising is increasing and social networking is no longer in its infancy.