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Study: Web Users Reading More Than E-Mailing

In 2003, Internet users were spending about one-third of their time viewing content. Now, researchers say users spend about half of their Web time reading information, according to a study by the Online Publishers Association. Taking the backseat is e-mailing, to which users are devoting one-third of their Internet minutes.

Internet users spend nearly half of their time online viewing content, according to a study by the Online Publishers Association. That's up from just over a third of online time spent with content in 2003, according to the group's Internet Activity Index.

Overall, Internet users are spending more time online, which means more minutes dedicated to all measured activities, association spokesperson Don Marshall told TechNewsWorld.

Only one category has remained relatively stable since 2003: Users spent 16 percent of their online time performing commerce-related activities then and spend about 15 percent of their time on commerce now.

E-Mail and Content Switch Positions

In 2003, people spent about one-third of their time online using communication tools, such as e-mail, according to the association's data, which is gathered by Nielsen//Net Ratings. After a gradual growth in the use of online content, those two activities now have switched positions. The shift can be attributed partly to the amount of content available now, said the association.

Internet users have begun to turn to Web sites for information they traditionally gather offline, said Marshall. For example, many Internet users now cite online channels as their primary sources of news and weather information. In addition, tasks that previously occurred exclusively offline -- checking movie times, for instance -- now occur primary online.

Social networking sites also have become sources of information in addition to providing a channel for communication among Internet users. The same goes for blogs, which serve up content in the form of authors' entries but also provide information exchange in the form of comments.

Read full article at TechNewsWorld
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