A new Experian Hitwise report named "Carpe Diem - Seizing the moment in Social Media" has found that social media has become the most used online activity in the UK. More people in Britain than ever are visiting social media sites compared to any other type of site.
According to the research, the previously most viewed category was entertainment, in January 2011, social networks accounted for 12.3 percent of all UK visits. There were over 2.4 billion visits to social media sites from UK internet users in January alone, this tops any other month on record.
Websites selling products or services rely on search engines to bring traffic to their sites whereas content providers use social networks to attract more visitors according to the report.
Facebook was unsurprisingly found as the most widely used social network in the UK, the report found it accounts for 56% of traffic to other social media sites. The range of social networks is also growing as people are developing their own, more specialised networks to cater for certain interests. The time people spend on social networks per session has also increased; during January 2011 it had reached 22 minutes.
The report revealed that after leaving one social network, one in eight users visit another one straight away, which is encouraged by links between the social networks. Facebook is a major traffic source for the smaller social networks while one in five users leaving Twitter visits another social network after leaving.
Social media is evolving quickly; reports such as the one by Experian Hitwise are showing results that highlight the power of the advancements in social networks in driving traffic to websites, it looks as if social networks will continue to grow.