Social networking growth outpaces email


During an eight month study of over two thousand home-based consumer Microsoft Windows PCs and several hundred home Apple Mac computers in the US, ClickStream Technologies found Social Networking activity increased significantly while email usage remained flat. Comparing usage on Windows PCs of the top web mail sites and MS Outlook to usage of leading social networking site, ClickStream found that usage of Facebook nearly doubled among adult U.S. internet users while email usage remained flat.

US Consumer PC Usage by Pct   MS Outlook
Jul’08   17%   15%
Aug’08   17%   14%
Sep’08   17%   13%
Oct’08   16%   12%
Nov’08   21%   13%
Dec’08   23%   13%
Jan’09   27%   13%
Feb’09   32%   13%

During the period between October 1, 2008 and ending February 28, 2009, usage of climbed from 16% to 32% among US adult Windows internet users while usage of MS Outlook remained flat.

Among 18-24 year olds, the disparity between MS Outlook and usage on Windows PCs was more striking; while MS Outlook usage averaged about 14% penetration per month for the same period, usage averaged 38%.

Considering that MS Outlook is often used more by business users than consumers, the study also compared all US Windows users’ use of web mail sites such as Google Mail and Microsoft Hotmail. Similar findings showed a steady combined penetration of about 80% during the study, but a decline in clicks and average minutes users spent interacting with the sites in these months.

US Consumer PC Webmail Usage   Avg Actions Per User   Avg Minutes Per User
Jul’08   5,334   695
Aug’08   4,435   590
Sep’08   5,354   718
Oct’08   5,081   659
Nov’08   4,749   622
Dec’08   4,626   616
Jan’09   4,515   624
Feb’09   3,963   556

The penetration rates were even more prominent among US Macintosh computer users, for whom usage penetration climbed from 51% to 63% for the same period, to nearly twice that of Windows PCs.

US Consumer Mac by Pct
Jun’08   46%
Jul’08   51%
Aug’08   51%
Sep’08   49%
Oct’08   49%
Nov’08   54%
Dec’08   56%
Jan’09   60%
Feb’09   63%

Similar to, the micro-blogging site is experiencing rapid growth among US Windows PC users, with significant growth in the first quarter of 2009.

US Consumer PC by Pct
Jul’08   0.8%
Aug’08   0.8%
Sep’08   0.9%
Oct’08   0.6%
Nov’08   1.3%
Dec’08   1.1%
Jan’09   3.3%
Feb’09   4.5%

It should be noted that Twitter users often provide personal updates, known as “tweets” through PC and mobile applications without visiting the site directly.