How US consumers spend their time online has shifted significantly in the past five years, according to Online Publishers Association (OPA) data presented in the Digital Marketing Factbook (Q4 2009) recently published by MarketingProfs.

The Digital Marketing Factbook, designed to be a comprehensive source of data and research for online marketers, includes chapters on email, search, and social media—with 144 pages of findings, including 110 charts and graphs from 60+ sources.

In 2004, US consumers spent 42% of their online time on communications-related activities such as reading and sending email, whereas now they spend only 27% of their time doing so, according to the OPA data cited in the Factbook.

What's filled the gap? Community-focused social networking sites such as Facebook, which now account for 13% of users' time, up from virtually nothing in 2004:

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