Social Network Usage Continues to Grow, But Facebook Draws Fewer Visitors

By Cameron Scott 

venimo /

Time spent on social networks nearly doubled on tablets over the past year and time spent overall also grew, but Facebook drew 4 percent fewer unique visitors, according to a Nielsen report.

Desktop users spent an average of 74 minutes a day on social networks in 2012, up from 60 in 2011. Users on smartphones spent just over five minutes using social networks this year, up marginally from 2011. Use on tablets spiked from 23 minutes in 2011 to 41 in 2012.

Among social services, Facebook saw most visitors by far, but usage fell 4 percent. Blogger took second place among social sites, though its usage also fell off slightly. The biggest gains were realized by Pinterest, with the number of visitors up by more than 1,000 percent among desktop Web and mobile app users and more than 4,000 percent among mobile Web users. Google+ and Tumblr also saw user numbers grow substantially. Foursquare’s mobile user base more than doubled.

LinkedIn user numbers were flat on desktop but doubled in mobile apps.

The Nielsen report also noted that the use of social services on mobile devices is transforming the way that viewers experience television programming.