But the most dramatic development online in recent years has been the meteoric rise of social networking, with the use of such sites among online adults increasing to 65% in 2011, from just 11% in 2005.
Even so, search and email dominate today's Internet: 92% of online adults use search engines to find information on the Web, and the same percentage (92%) use email.
Moreover, search and email have been the most popular online activities over the past nine years: In 2002, 85% of online adults used search, while 93% used email, compared with reading news online (68%) and buying online (61%).
Meanwhile, reading news online (76%) ranks as the third-most popular activity, overtaking online buying (71%), though that activity appears to be rebounding after a 2010 low.
Below, additional findings from Pew's 2011 report on popular online activities, issued by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project and Project for Excellence in Journalism.
Daily Email and Search Use