Time spent on social network and blogging sites accounted for 17 percent of all time spent on the Internet in August 2009, nearly triple the percentage of time spent on the sector a year ago, according to data from The Nielsen Company. In addition, Nielsen reported that estimated online advertising spend on the top social network and blogging sites increased 119 percent year-over-year, from nearly $49 million in August 2008 to around $108 million the following year.
“This growth suggests a wholesale change in the way the Internet is used,” said Jon Gibs, vice president of media and agency insights at Nielsen’s online division. “While video and text content remain central to the Web experience – the desire of online consumers to connect, communicate and share is increasingly driving the medium’s growth.”
Although many industries reduced their overall online ad spend year-over-year in August, spending on the top social network sites increased across the board. Coming in at first place in growing its online ad dollar was the entertainment industry, increasing ad spending on the top social network sites by 812 percent in August. Travel advertisers came in at second with 364 percent.
The growth of social networking sites has been responsible in part by the dramatic growth of Facebook — a place where many industries turn to when planning their online ad dollars. In fact, in August of this year, Facebook was the top social networking site advertised on by 10 out of 13 industries, including the automotive, consumer goods, entertainment, and health sectors. Myspace was the top choice for the other three industries.