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Nielsen: Social networking tops email

The dramatic rise of social networking means that in a few short years social networks and blogs have become the fourth-most-popular online activity, passing personal email, according to a new study from Nielsen. What’s more, the amount of time that surfers are spending on these sites is still growing at a rapid pace. Last year, the category grew three times faster than the rate of growth for the internet overall. Now 67 percent of the global online population visits what Nielsen calls the member communities category, which includes social networks and blogs. It is growing twice as fast as the other major categories, passing email and now only ranking behind search, portals and PC software. Facebook, says Nielsen, is now the world’s most popular social network and is visited by 30 percent of people online each month across the nine markets that Nielsen tracks.

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