A quarter of all time online is spent on social media networks and forums according to new data.

The data compiled by information services company, Experian, reveals if all time spent on the internet was distilled into one hour, a quarter of it would be spent on social media networks and forums.

In the US, 16 minutes would be spent on social media networks and forums, in Australia it would be 14 minutes.

In the UK we spend 13 minutes of every hour on social networks and forums, nine minutes on entertainment sites and six minutes shopping.

into online consumer behaviour

Source: Experian

Social media and email declining overall?

Despite social media continuing to dominate our online activities, it still declining year on year.

The UK shows a decline from 25% to 22%, this is being caused by an increase in accessing social networks from our mobile devices.

James Murray, Digital Marketing Manager at Experian Marketing Services, attributes this shift to the rise of 3G and 4G.

“The online landscape is constantly changing and we’ve seen some pretty dramatic shifts in consumer behaviour across different geographic regions and in the various vertical markets. Consumers are changing the way they interact online and the rise of 3G and now 4G mobile internet access means more visits are being made on the move, particularly in social and email. As brands become increasingly global entities it’s more important than ever to understand the differences between regional online behaviours so that marketing campaigns can be tailored for better and more effective brand engagement.”

Facebook are hoping to capitalise on this shift with their new mobile offering, Home.

Email is also declining (3% in 2012 down from 4% in 2011) as we shift from desktop to mobile.

More online shopping

In the UK we are also spending more time shopping online 10%, compared to 9% in the US and 6% in Australia.

This was partly boosted by the record number of visits to online retailers during the Christmas period in 2012.

We should also expect this to decline as we become more comfortable shopping on our tablets and smartphones.

Lea Pachta

Lea Pachta