Social Media: now the single biggest activity online

Social media is now both the biggest and fastest growing sector online in the UK, according to new data from online intelligence service, Hitwise.

Traffic to social networks accounted for 12.4% of all Internet visits in January 2011, amounting to over 2.4 billion (yes, billion!) visits during the month. That’s a 17% growth year-on-year and means that Social Networks have now surpassed sites in the Entertainment category to seize the crown as the UK’s most visited sites.

Graph: UK visits to Social Media and Entertainment

And social media’s unrelenting growth’s not over yet. Hitwise gives this prediction for 2011:

Social media is fast, interactive, exciting, and growing. In 2011 we expect social media to grow by at least another 10%, with a lot of that growth driven by Facebook. The UK’s most popular social network is gaining an even greater market share of the social space, even as the market is diversifying, and there is a very real possibility that at some point this year Facebook will account for over 60% of all visits to social networks and forums (currently Facebook accounts for 56% of visits to social sites).

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