According to a new survey of more than 48,000 online users, 61 percent of the world’s online population now accesses the Internet on a daily basis versus 54 percent for TV, 36 percent for radio, and 32 percent for newspapers. However, online users in the world’s most developed markets — despite having access to advanced Internet infrastructures — are less engaged than their counterparts in the world’s rapidly growing emerging markets.
According to U.K.-based research agency TNS, user engagement in Egypt (56 percent) and China (54 percent) is significantly higher than in Finland (26 percent), Denmark (25 percent) or Japan (20 percent). “The Internet is a huge part of life in the 21st century,” observed TNS Chief Development Officer Matthew Froggatt. “But how it affects our lives varies depending upon where in the world you live.”
A Host of New Reasons
For many online users in the developed world, the Internet has “become a commoditized item that consumers take for granted,” Froggatt said. By contrast, the sustained investments in infrastructure that have recently taken place in emerging markets are giving online users there a host of new reasons to embrace new channels in much more active ways, he added.
“The digital world is transforming how they live, develop and interact,” Froggatt said. “And online consumers in these markets are leaving those in the developed world behind in terms of being active online and engaging in new forms of communications.”
In the world’s more developed markets, online users spend 5.1 hours per week on average in their e-mail inboxes compared to just 3.8 hours on social-networking activities. By contrast, online emerging-market users spend 5.2 hours per week engaged in social-networking activities, compared to only four hours on e-mail.
The popularity of social networking is particularly high in nations such as Malaysia, where online users engage in such activities for about 9 hours per week on average. Social networking is also on the rise in the emerging markets of Russia (8.1 hours) and Turkey (7.7 hours), TNS researchers said.
The amount of time users spend on social networking can be attributed in part to the number of online friends that users are able to cultivate over time. Malaysian and Brazilian users are the most liberal with more than 230 online friends on average, while the Japanese are the most conservative with just 29 friends. (By Mark Long )
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