Nielsen: Gaming surpasses email in time spent online

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According to new data from Nielsen, Americans spend 10.2% of their time online playing games, up from 9.3% in 2009, ranking as the second busiest activity. That's ahead of email which accounts for a declining 8.3%, but far behind social networking at 22.7%, the most used Web activity. Communicating and networking as a whole, including social networks, blogs, email and instant messaging represents some 36% of the time folks in the US are on the Internet.

Interestingly, watching videos and searching rank sixth and seventh, with less than 4% each. Nielsen reports that 10 billion videos were served in June 2010, with the average consumer spending three hours and 15 minutes streaming content during the month -- less than I would have guessed. A massive 34.3% slice of the pie is dedicated to "other," which supposedly includes 74 remaining online sectors, but it's probably safe to assume a significant portion is porn.

Although desktop and laptop users are emailing less, it makes up an increasing 41.6% of the time people are connected with mobile devices. Portals are the second heaviest activity on handsets with 11.6%, and social networking trails closely with 10.5%. Search, news, entertainment, music, weather, sports, and videos represent most of the remaining share, while "other" takes a similar cut as portals. How would you say your time online is divided?

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