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Study: Web Users Seek More Content, Less Communication

14 Aug, 2007 By: Chris Tribbey

Just four years ago, Internet users spent a majority of their time using the Web for communicating.

Now, content is king.

According to a four-year analysis of Internet activity by Internet industry trade firm Online Publishers Association (OPA) — using Nielsen/NetRatings — Web users are watching, reading and listening to Web sites 47% of the time they're online, up from 34% in 2003. Conversely, while people were using the Web for communication 46% of the time in 2003, now they're only on the Internet for that reason 33% of the time. Web users are online searching 5% of the time, up from 3% in 2003, and shopping 15% of the time, down from 16% in 2003.

“The dominant role of content is driven by several important factors. The first is the online transition of traditionally offline activities, such as getting news, finding entertainment information or checking the weather,” said OPA president Pam Horan, adding, “Consumers spend considerable time with social networking sites.”

A faster, more easily accessible Internet, the growing popularity of online video, easy search tools and the availability of more content were reasons listed by OPA for the dramatic changes.

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