Nielsen: Online games now more popular than e-mail


Look out e-mail... there's a new No. 2 in town. That's according to Nielsen's newest "What Americans Do Online" report, which shows online games pushing aside e-mail as the second-most-popular use of online time

Games now represent just over 10 percent of all time spent online, according to Nielsen, a number that is itself a 10 percent increase from Nielsen's June 2009 report. Use of e-mail, the previous No. 2 online timesink, fell by over a quarter and now represents only 8.3 percent of total online time.

The winner and still champion of online time-wasting, of course, is social networks. Usage of sites like Facebook and MySpace shot up over 40% from last year's already dominant position, and the networks now collectively represent over 1/5th of all time spent online.

While the Nielsen report doesn't break social games away from time spent on social networks and online games generally, it's safe to assume that the skyrocketing popularity of such games in the past year has helped drive growth in both areas. Online videos and movies were the only other area measured in Nielsen's report to see a significant increase over the year.