Too much Facebook could lead to envy and depression

Browsing Facebook has become a daily activity for hundreds of millions of facebook-envy-ecardpeople. Because so many people engage with the website daily, researchers are interested in how emotionally involved Facebook users can be with the social networking site and how regular use can affect their mental health. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that Facebook use can lead to symptoms of depression if the social networking site triggers feelings of envy among its users. Margaret Duffy, a professor and chair of strategic communication at the MU School of Journalism, says that how Facebook users use the site makes a difference in how they respond to it. [Read more…]

Study: Twitter is More Narcissistic Than Facebook

twitter logo

New research links narcissism with the number of Tweets college students post and finds that Tweeting is the preferred social platform for narcissists. Researcher Shaun Davenport from High Point University and his colleagues found: “Although ‘conversations’ can occur using Twitter, the medium is designed for one-way interactions where users ‘tweet’ information to their contacts. These contacts are labelled as ‘followers’ in Twitter rather than the more egalitarian label of ‘friends’ in Facebook. Given that narcissists have an inflated self-view and engage in a variety of strategies aimed at bringing attention to themselves, features unique to Twitter may be more appealing to narcissists than those on sites such as Facebook.”

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Does Social Media Influence Your Self-Control? Yes, Say Researchers

cookiesUsers of Facebook and other social networks should beware of allowing their self-esteem—boosted by “likes” or positive comments from close friends—to influence their behavior: It could reduce their self-control both on and offline, according to an academic paper by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia Business School that has recently been published online in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Titled “Are Close Friends the Enemy? Online Social Networks, Self-Esteem, and Self-Control,” the research paper demonstrates that users who are focused on close friends tend to experience an increase in self-esteem while browsing their social networks; afterwards, these users display less self-control. Greater social network use among this category of users with strong ties to their friends is also associated with individuals having higher body-mass indexes and higher levels of credit-card debt, according to the paper.

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This is not your father’s Facebook; it’s your…. grandfather’s?

Facebook Logo A new study released by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project reveals that the number of seniors (users over age 65) is increasing significantly. Other key findings include:

  • Some 73% of online adults now use a social networking site of some kind. Facebook is the dominant social networking platform in the number of users, but a striking number of users are now diversifying onto other platforms. Some 42% of online adults now use multiple social networking sites. In addition, Instagram users are nearly as likely as Facebook users to check in to the site on a daily basis. [Read more…]

Study: PR professionals can improve public attitudes by communicating through Facebook during times of crisis

Facebook-logo-1817834.pngSocial networking sites have become incredibly popular in recent years, with Facebook now ranking as the third most popular website in the U.S. With so many people spending so much time on Facebook, public relations professionals are using the site more and more to communicate to the public. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri School of Journalism have found that posting public relations information on Facebook during a time of crisis can improve the overall image of the organization that is experiencing the crisis.

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Companies Must Respond Quickly to Customers on Twitter, Study Confirms

twitter logoLithium Technologies today unveiled research that shows consumers will reward brands that harness Twitter’s power to meet their rising expectations, while punishing those that fail to respond in a timely way.

Customers have high expectations for a quick response: 53 percent who expect a brand to respond to their Tweet demand that response comes in less than an hour, according to the Lithium-commissioned study by Millward Brown Digital. That figure skyrockets to 72 percent when they have complaints.

When companies don’t meet these lofty response expectations, 38 percent feel more negative about the brand and a full 60 percent will take unpleasant actions to express their dissatisfaction.

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Who’s Using Twitter? New Pew Research Shows 15% of Online Adults Tweet

The Pew Internet & American Life Project released its annual study of Twitter today. The report, written by Aaron Smith and Joanna Brenner, shows that overall adoption remains steady, but “typical day” usage continues to grow—8% of online adults now use Twitter on a typical day. African-Americans, young adults, and mobile users stand out for their high rates of Twitter usage.

According to the researchers, some 15% of online adults use Twitter as of February 2012, and 8% do so on a typical day. Although overall Twitter usage has nearly doubled since the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project  first asked a stand-alone Twitter question in November 2010, the 15% of online adults who use Twitter as of early 2012 is similar to the 13% of such adults who did so in May 2011. At the same time, the proportion of online adults who use Twitter on a typical day has doubled since May 2011 and has quadrupled since late 2010—at that point just 2% of online adults used Twitter on a typical day.1 The rise of smartphones might account for some of the uptick in usage because smartphone users are particularly likely to be using Twitter.

Several demographic groups stand out as having high rates of Twitter usage relative to their peers:

African-Americans — Black internet users continue to use Twitter at high rates. More than one quarter of online African-Americans (28%) use Twitter, with 13% doing so on a typical day.

Young adults — One quarter (26%) of internet users ages 18-29 use Twitter, nearly double the rate for those ages 30-49. Among the youngest internet users (those ages 18-24), fully 31% are Twitter users.

Urban and suburban residents — Residents of urban and suburban areas are significantly more likely to use Twitter than their rural counterparts.

Twitter use among 18-24 year olds increased dramatically between May 2011 and February 2012, both overall and on a “typical day” basis

Twitter use within the overall population remained steady over the last year, and usage rates within most major demographic groups changed little over the same time period. The youngest adults (those between the ages of 18 and 24) are the primary exception to this trend—nearly one third of internet users in this age group now use Twitter, up from 18% in May of 2011 and 16% in late 2010.3 Twitter use by those in their mid-20s to mid-40s largely leveled off in the last year after roughly doubling between late 2010 and mid 2011.

In addition to increasing on an overall basis, the proportion of young internet users who use Twitter on a typical day also doubled over the last year. Fully one in five internet users ages 18-24 (20%) now use Twitter on a typical day, up from 9% in May 2011.

Notably, “typical day” usage among slightly older adults (those ages 25-34) also doubled—from 5% of such internet users in May 2011 to 11% in February 2012—even as overall usage levels within this group remained stable over that time period.

Twitter and the “Mobile Difference”
We can also see this relationship between youth, mobility and Twitter use when looking specifically at Twitter use on mobile phones. Twitter usage is highly correlated with the use of mobile technologies, especially smartphones. One in five smartphone owners (20%) are Twitter users, with 13% using the service on a typical day. By contrast, internet users who own more basic mobile phones are roughly half as likely to use Twitter overall (9% do so), and just 3% of these more basic phone owners are “typical day” users.

Indeed, this correlation between Twitter adoption and smartphone ownership may help to explain the recent growth in Twitter usage among young adults. Those ages 18-24 are not just the fastest growing group when it comes to Twitter adoption over the last year—they also experienced the largest increase in smartphone ownership of any demographic group over the same time period.

In addition to asking internet users whether they ever use Twitter (regardless of the platform or device used) in our February 2012 tracking survey, we included a question in our April 2012 tracking survey in which we asked adult cell phone owners if they use Twitter specifically on their mobile phones. Overall we found that 9% of cell owners use Twitter on their phones, with 5% doing so on a typical day.4

As with general Twitter usage, smartphone owners are much more likely than average to use Twitter on their phones (overall 16% of smartphone owners use Twitter on their phones, and 10% do so on a typical day).

As with our general Twitter usage findings, cell owners ages 18-24 are more likely than older cell owners to use Twitter within the context of their mobile devices—fully one in five 18-24 year old cell owners (22%) use Twitter on their phones, and 15% do so on a typical day. African Americans and Latinos (both of whom have high rates of smartphone ownership) also stand out as heavy mobile Twitter users.

 

Fizziology Announces New Social Media Analytics for Television

Fizziology’s SocialDensity analytics quantify the value of a show beyond ratings.

Social media research company Fizziology is introducing SocialDensity, new analytics for buyers and sellers of television advertising to quantify the social impact of a show. A leader in theatrical film tracking of social media conversation since late 2009, Fizziology is now providing analysis and insights to television studios, networks, media agencies and brands.

Announced during television upfronts week, SocialDensity is designed to measure the social impact of programs and quantify the value of that impact. Because ratings are only one of the dimensions of value for advertisers and networks to consider, SocialDensity measures the influence, sharing and anticipation that can’t be assessed by ratings alone. Just as ratings services provide a numerical representation of viewership, SocialDensity provides ratings on a show’s volume and sentiment. This score can be used as a point of comparison with traditional ratings or combined to create a more holistic view of a program’s value.

[Read more…]

National Study Ranks City Governments’ Use of Social Media

More than six times as many big city governments reached citizens via Facebook in 2011 compared to 2009, while use of YouTube and Twitter grew fourfold and threefold respectively, a new study indicates.

Karen Mossberger, head of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s public administration graduate program, and Yonghong Wu, associate professor, analyzed and ranked the online interactivity, transparency and accessibility of the country’s 75 largest cities from March through May 2011. They used the data to compile the Civic Engagement Index, and compared it with their findings from a study they conducted in 2009.

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New Study Finds Facebook and Twitter Symbols Subconsciously Influence Online Buying Decisions

The display of a social media icon such as a Facebook “Like” button or a Twitter symbol on a shopping website increases the likelihood that consumers will buy some products, and reduces the likelihood that they will buy others. That is a key finding of a study conducted by the University of Miami School of Business Administration, Empirica Research, and StyleCaster Media Group as part of the State of Style Report.

The study found that consumers who saw a social media icon near a product that might embarrass them were significantly less likely to buy that product than those who saw the same product without the icon. On the other hand, consumers who viewed products they would be proud to show off were significantly more likely to buy than those who saw the same product with no such icon.

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Social Media Moms Choose Sex Over Facebook This Valentine’s Day

If given the choice to go without one thing for Valentine’s Day, about 76% of social media savvy women choose to give up Facebook over sex with their spouse or partner, according to a new survey by SocialMoms.com, a network of 35,000 influential moms who are active in social media.

Results of the SocialMoms 2012 Valentine’s Day Survey revealed the need for human connection significantly outweighs those connections made via social media. The average SocialMoms.com member is ranked in the top .05% of all Twitter users by follower count, is five times more likely than the average woman in the US to carry a smartphone, and twice as likely to own a tablet computer.

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New Research Contrasts Social Media Experiences of Adults and Teens

An interesting new report was released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project today; researchers Lee Rainie, Amanda Lenhart and Aaron Smith investigated the tone of life on social networking sites with a national survey of online adults in the U.S.

According to the researchers, the overall social and emotional climate of social networking sites (SNS) is a very positive one where adult users get personal rewards and satisfactions at far higher levels than they encounter anti-social people or have ill consequences from their encounters. The study found:

 

  • 85% of SNS-using adults say that their experience on the sites is that people are mostly kind, compared with 5% who say people they observe on the sites are mostly unkind and another 5% who say their answer depends on the situation.
  • 68% of SNS users said they had an experience that made them feel good about themselves.
  • 61% had experiences that made them feel closer to another person. (Many said they had both experiences.)
  • 39% of SNS-using adults say they frequently see acts of generosity by other SNS users and another 36% say they sometimes see others behaving generously and helpfully. By comparison, 18% of SNS-using adults say they see helpful behavior “only once in a while” and 5% say they never see generosity exhibited by others on social networking sites.

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Nielsen: Americans Spend a Quarter of Online Time on Social Networks

Today the Nielsen Company released the Q3 – 2011 State of Social Media Report, a snapshot of the current social media landscape and audiences in the U.S. and other major markets. The report offers insights and provides some answers on exactly how powerful the influence of social media is on consumer behavior, both online and off.

The value of the time consumers spend online and on social networks and blogs continues to grow, the report shows, most visible through the influence on purchase decisions. For instance, 60 percent of people who use three or more digital means of research for product purchases learned about a specific brand or retailer from a social networking site.

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Checking In on Foursquare? Study Shows Only Small Percentage of Adults Are

More than a quarter (28%) of all American adults use mobile or social location-based services of some kind. This includes anyone who takes part in one or more of the following activities:

28% of cell owners use phones to get directions or recommendations based on their current location—that works out to 23% of all adults.

A much smaller number (5% of cell owners, equaling 4% of all adults) use their phones to check in to locations using geosocial services such as Foursquare or Gowalla. Smartphone owners are especially likely to use these services on their phones, the study shows.

9% of internet users set up social media services such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn so that their location is automatically included in their posts on those services. That works out to 7% of all adults.

Taken together, 28% of U.S. adults do at least one of these activities either on a computer or using their mobile phones—and many users do several of them. These figures come from a new national survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project

“Americans are not currently all that eager to share explicitly their location on social media sites, but they are taking advantage of their phones’ geolocation capabilities in other ways,” said Kathryn Zickuhr, Pew Internet Project research specialist and co-author of the report. “Smartphone owners are using their phones to get fast access to location-relevant information on-the-go.”

 

The report can be found online at http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Location/Overview.aspx

Half of American adults use Facebook or other social networks

Fully 65% of adult internet users now say they use a social networking site like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn, up from 61% one year ago, according to new data released by the Pew Research Center. This marks the first time in Pew Internet surveys that 50% of all adults use social networking sites. The frequency of social networking site usage among young adult internet users under age 30 was stable over the last year – 61% of online Americans in that age cohort now use social networking sites on a typical day, compared with 60% one year ago. However, among the Boomer-aged segment of internet users ages 50-64, social networking site usage on a typical day grew a significant 60% (from 20% to 32%).

“The graying of social networking sites continues, but the oldest users are still far less likely to be making regular use of these tools,” said Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist and co-author of the report. “While seniors are testing the waters, many Baby Boomers are beginning to make a trip to the social media pool part of their daily routine.”

In a separate question, when social networking users were asked for one word to describe their experiences using social networking sites, “good” was the most common response (as seen in this word cloud). Overall, positive responses far outweighed the negative and neutral words that were associated with social networking sites (more than half of the respondents used positive terms). Users repeatedly described their experiences as “fun,” “great,” “interesting” and “convenient.” Less common were superlatives such as “astounding,” “necessity,” and “empowering.”

To read the report visit http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Social-Networking-Sites/Overview.aspx

 

 

New study shows social media influences where students choose to enroll for college

Educational Value is Prime Consideration in Students’ College Enrollment Choice, Though Economy Still Weighs on Decisions, Study Finds

Even two years after the height of the recession, economic concerns continue to influence where students choose to enroll for college, forcing many into a school that was not their first choice, according to the latest research from Maguire Associates and Fastweb.com. Ultimately, though, the primary factor in students’ decisions is a combination of perceived educational quality and costs.

Nearly 2,400 high school seniors were surveyed in follow-up to the annual College Decision Impact Survey that was conducted in January for insights into the factors that were most important in determining where these students enrolled. Key factors included use of social media and reliance on schools’ individual net price calculators (NPCs), which all US colleges and universities will be required to provide on their websites by late October 2011.

[Read more…]

Surge in Social CRM Among Big Brands

Large businesses are embracing social customer relationship management (CRM) software, with 30% planning to adopt it within the next 24 months, according to new study.

During the next two years 30 percent of leading companies will extend the goals of their online community activities to the design of enhanced service processes, such as social CRM, according to a study released by Gartner today. Social CRM for customer service has the potential to bring new and dynamic methods for improving customer service, and in doing so is creating opportunities for new and existing providers in the customer service and contact center infrastructure markets.

“Social CRM for customer service has only recently entered into the realm of contact center infrastructure and customer service software components, where it has been met with significant hype despite a limited number of field deployments,” said Drew Kraus, research vice president at Gartner. “There is strong corporate awareness, including at corporate executive levels, of social networks and their potential impact on corporate brand management and customer service perception. We expect the high-profile nature of social networks and social CRM for customer service to rapidly advance adoption from early adopter to mainstream deployments despite the volatile and rapid evolution of social networks in general.”

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Consumers Turn to Search & Social Media for Purchasing Decisions

Study of leading brands, including consumer electronics manufacturer Dell, show search and social media prompt a virtuous circle of channel engagement

The role of search and social media in a consumer’s path to purchase is a virtuous circle, where activity in one channel fuels engagement in the other, says a new study released by GroupM Search and comScore, Inc.

The research, which included analysis of online consumer engagement and purchase for leading advertisers including Dell and others in the telecommunications and consumer packaged goods (CPG) categories, revealed that 40 percent of consumers who use search in their path to purchase are motivated to use social media to further their decision making process. Similarly, 46 percent of consumers who use social media in the purchase pathway are driven to use search to expand their knowledge about their likely purchase. These findings demonstrate the emergence of search and social media as essential channels in the online path to purchase for consumers today. [Read more…]

Half of Americans Will be on Facebook by 2013

As Facebook continues to solidify its role as the world’s top social networking site, eMarketer estimates that more than half of internet users in the US were logging on to the site at least monthly as of the end of 2010. This year, 132.5 million US web users will use the site monthly, eMarketer forecasts. That increase of 13.4% in the number of users means Facebook will reach almost nine in 10 social network users and 57.1% of internet users. By 2013, 62% of web users and almost half (47.6%) of the overall US population will be on Facebook. eMarketer’s estimates are based on a meta-analysis of survey data and visitor statistics from over a dozen sources, and include US users who use any internet-enabled device to access their Facebook account at least once a month.

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eBay Named Top Social Media Brand

Social Media Reputation (SMR) Index Ranks 50 top brands on social media

A new study from London-based Alterian has ranked the 50 top global brands using social media and they name eBay as number one. The online auction and shopping website beat Apple (2nd), Google (3rd), Blackberry (4th) and Amazon (5th). According to the new research, eBay took the top slot due to the company’s long standing engagement with their customers through forums, which were introduced in the late 1990s, corporate blogging, Twitter and Facebook. Quick to adapt to new social media offerings, eBay has adopted Facebook’s Open Graph so customers can split the cost of a gift and pay for their share via Paypal. The company also takes a social approach to internal communications, featuring blogs, forums and discussions boards on the company intranet.
 
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Social Marketing Top Strategy Among Local Businesses, Study Finds

New research shows social media top marketing strategy for local businesses with Facebook surpassing Google as most-widely used. Group buying gets mixed reviews: 55% of merchants who have offered a “daily deal” through a group buying service would not do so again.

MerchantCircle has released results of its quarterly Merchant Confidence Index survey of over 8,500 small and local business owners across the U.S. The data reveals that local merchants, who have very limited time and money for marketing, are gravitating towards simple, low-cost online marketing methods such as Facebook and other social media, as well as towards tried-and-true methods such as search and email marketing. The research also demonstrates that while new marketing services such as mobile marketing and group buying are generating significant buzz in the media, local merchants have yet to tap these unproven marketing methods.

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Big Brands More Likely to Directly Engage Users on Social Media, Study Finds

A new Burson-Marsteller study shows that sixty-seven percent of Fortune Global 100 companies on Twitter are using the “@symbol” to directly engage with or mention other users, and more than half (57 percent) are “retweeting” content from their corporate accounts. This represents a 76 percent increase in companies using the “@mention” function and 78 percent increase in retweeting to interact and engage with stakeholders compared to last year. These are some key findings of the Second Annual Burson-Marsteller Global Social Media Check-up, which examines the Fortune Global 100’s use of popular social networking platforms such as: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, corporate blogs and other local and language-specific social networks.

The “@mention” or “@reply” function on Twitter is most often used to demonstrate that a user is directly responding to or mentioning another Twitter user.

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Top Reasons Why People Ditch You on Facebook & Twitter

More Than 90% of Consumers Unsubscribe, Unfan or Unfollow Because of Too Frequent, Irrelevant or Boring Communications

A new study released today by ExactTarget and CoTweet finds more than 90 percent of consumers have “broken up” with at least one brand on Facebook, email or Twitter because of irrelevant, too frequent or boring marketing messages. Featured in The Social Break-Up, the study of more than 1,500 consumers identifies how people are changing their online behaviors and details top motivations for unfanning, unfollowing and unsubscribing from marketing campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and email.

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Facebooking while on the toilet? New survey finds 1/3 do

Are you so addicted to Facebook that you check it while you’re doing your business in the bathroom? According to a new study nearly one-third of those surveyed said yes.

As Facebook, social media and mobile usage continues its explosive growth, AIS Media asked people a rather personal question: do you ever use Facebook on your mobile device while you’re in the bathroom? According to the results, nearly one-third (27 percent) of survey respondents say “yes”.

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I Tweet Because I Care: Pew Reveals Social Side of Internet

The internet is now deeply embedded in group and organizational life in America. A new national survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project has found that 75% of all American adults are active in some kind of voluntary group or organization and internet users are more likely than others to be active: 80% of internet users participate in groups, compared with 56% of non-internet users. Moreover, social media users are even more likely to be active: 82% of social network users and 85% of Twitter users are group participants. 

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Social media users ‘more demanding’ as consumers

Research shows that social media users are more demanding:1 in 5 consumers who complain to brands via Twitter or Facebook want a response within the hour.

New research from Lightspeed Research and the IAB revealed that consumers have much higher expectations of social media customer services compared to more traditional channels. The research found that a quarter of people who complain about brands through Twitter or Facebook expect a response within the hour, and around 6% within 10 minutes.

Conversely, 50% of consumers who made complaints via a brand’s own website were happy to receive a response within a day and 27% within 3 days.

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Who Needs Location Tags? Your Slang on Twitter Reveals Where You Are

Research Finds Regional Dialects Are Alive and Well on Twitter: Slang Terms Like Y’all, Yinz, Koo, Coo and Suttin Predict Location of Tweet Authors

Microbloggers may think they’re interacting in one big Twitterverse, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science find that regional slang and dialects are as evident in tweets as they are in everyday conversations. Postings on Twitter reflect some well-known regionalisms, such as Southerners’ “y’all,” and Pittsburghers’ “yinz,” and the usual regional divides in references to soda, pop and Coke. But Jacob Eisenstein, a post-doctoral fellow in CMU’s Machine Learning Department, said the automated method he and his colleagues have developed for analyzing Twitter word use shows that regional dialects appear to be evolving within social media.

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UC Denver Business School student finds top reasons for Facebook unfriending

With more than 500 million users, Facebook has become a global phenomenon, a vast cyber neighborhood where friends meet to share photos, news and gossip. But when those relationships sour, another phenomenon often occurs – unfriending.

In what may be the first comprehensive study of its kind, a University of Colorado Denver Business School student has revealed the top reasons for Facebook unfriending, who is unfriended and how they react to being unfriended.

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What Americans Do Online: Social Media and Games Dominate Activity

Americans spend nearly a quarter of their time online on social networking sites and blogs, up from 15.8 percent just a year ago (43 percent increase) according to new research released from The Nielsen Company.

The latest from Nielsen research shows that Americans devote six hours of online time every month to social networking sites and blogs. That’s almost a quarter of the time they spend on the Internet, up from 16 percent just a year ago.

“Despite the almost unlimited nature of what you can do on the web, 40 percent of U.S. online time is spent on just three activities – social networking, playing games and emailing leaving a whole lot of other sectors fighting for a declining share of the online pie,” said Nielsen analyst Dave Martin in a press release.

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USC Study: Zero Percent Of Americans Would Pay For Twitter

2010 USC Annenberg Digital Future Study  Finds Strong Negative Reaction to Paying for Online Services

Millions of Americans use Twitter — just don’t ask any of them to pay for it. The annual study of the impact of the Internet on Americans by the Center for the Digital Future found that 49 percent of Internet users said they have used free micro-blogs such as Twitter.

But when asked if they would be willing to pay for Twitter, zero percent said yes.

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