Consumers continue to spend more time on social networks than on any other category of website—roughly 20% of their total time online via personal computer (PC) and 30% of their total time online via mobile—according to a report by NM Incite and Nielsen.
Moreover, the total amount of time spent using social media in the US across PCs and mobile devices increased 37% in 2012 year over year (YOY), to 121 billion minutes as of July, from 88 billion in July 2011.
Though social media audiences via PC declined a slight 5% YOY (from 163.6 million in 2011 to 171.8 million in 2012), the amount of time spent using social channels via PC increased 24% YOY over the same period (from 59.5 billion minutes in 2011, to 74.0 billion in 2012), signaling a deeper level of user engagement.
However, mobile is clearly a key driver of social media use.
Consumers increased their time spent using social mobile apps 76% YOY, from 23.2 billion minutes in 2011 to 40.8 billion in 2012.
Though the mobile Web accounted for a smaller proportion of time spent with social media in 2012 (roughly seven times less than with apps), mobile Web use grew 29% YOY, from 4.4 billion minutes in 2011 to 5.7 billion in 2012.
Below, additional findings from Nielsen's Social Media Report for 2012.