In preparation for the start of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which begins tomorrow in Las Vegas, the Nielsen Company provided registered attendee’s with some updated media industry numbers. I wanted to share the Internet specific info with you as it shows the march of social media and Internet usage in the US:

  • Active Internet users: @195M (U.S.)
  • People who accessed the Internet
    • via a broadband connection: 160.3M (93.3%… up 16% from 2008)
    • Unique viewers of video: 138.4M (up 11.4% from 2008)
    • Total online video streams viewed monthly: 11.2B (up 17% from 2008)
    • Average time spent viewing online video  per viewer monthly: 200.1 minutes (up 12.5% from 2008)
  • Social Networking
    • Facebook reaches 56% of the active U.S. Internet universe with an average usage of 6 hrs a month per user
    • Facebook is the #3 site visited by users 65 and older
    • Twitter grew 500% year over year
    • Time spent on social networking sites in the U.S. increased 277%
    • The average U.S. worker spends 5 hrs a month visiting social networks at the office
    • 32% of all mobile web users visited a social network
  • Top 5 computer brands among U.S. adult by percent of ownership
    • Dell – 49.8%
    • HP – 26.4%
    • Compaq – 12.6%
    • Mac/Apple – 11.3%
    • Percentage of U.S. adults who have two or more computers: 57.7%
    • Percentage of U.S. adults who purchased a laptop computer in the past
      12 months: 12.9%

Top Networking Sites Year Over Year Trend Unique Audience

Site Nov.2007 Nov.2008 Nov.2009
Facebook 21.97M 47.54M 109.7M
Myspace 57.39M 59.12M 50.92M
Twitter N/A 3.17M 19.07M
Classmates 11.46M 14.6M 12.27M
Linkedin 5.44M 11.64M 12.13M

The growth since 2007 is absolutely remarkable and for many of you these numbers will not be of any surprise. However, if your a company or business of any type and your not already knee deep in the social media quagmire then your already behind the curve. Your customers are there and I guarantee they are looking for you.

My recent post about the homepage being redesigned is a perfect example of this. Although they did make performance tweaks – the primary visual change I saw was that they added Facebook and Twitter icons to every possible story link so they can get connected to social media users and customers.

If your not already on that train what are you waiting for?

All data source: The Nielsen Company as of Nov 2009, company-wide reports and surveys. Used with permission.