A recent report published by Nielsen Online revealed that the average internet user in UK spent more than 22 hours surfing the web or using internet-related applications last month, showing a notable 34 percent rise from the same period a year ago.
The report attributed this massive increase to the social networking giant Facebook, as the time spent on the site rose impressively from 2.8 billion minutes in April 2008 to a whopping 6.2 billion last month. The social networking site topped the list in terms of market share, with its share rose to 12.7 percent from 7.2 percent a year ago.
With 4.46 billion minutes or 9.2 percent of the total internet time MSN/Windows Live, which incorporates the Messenger and Hotmail services, snared the second spot, followed by the internet search giant Google, which with 2.56 billion minutes accounted for 5.3 percent of the total internet time.
Incidentally, the top ten most intensively used UK internet brands, which include - Facebook, Google, MSN/Windows Live, eBay, Yahoo, YouTube, BBC, AOL, Microsoft, and Apple - accounted for as much as 45 percent of all UK internet time.
Commenting upon these striking results, Alex Burmaster, communications director at Nielsen Online, said in a statement, “I think most people would be surprised by just how much time is accounted for by a relatively few brands who, in turn, are increasing their share of the pie”.
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Of the top 10 websites, none carry domain names that come from a standard English dictionary. This shows the power of branding as applied to the online world. Of the top 10, only two, Microsoft and Apple have a significant brick and mortar presence and only one, Facebook, is less than five years old.