You could summarize the results of the new Nielsen Social Media Report as “all the trends you’ve heard about are still happening,” except there are a couple of details that seemed a little surprising. Topping the list: Internet users over the age of 55 are driving the growth of social networking through the mobile Internet. I did not know that and would not have guessed it. Less surprising is social media’s growing ubiquity: Social networks and blogs account for nearly a quarter of total time spent on the Internet, and nearly 4 in 5 active Internet users visit social networks and blogs.
I can’t tell how good or bad some numbers in the report are, such as that Americans spend 22.5 percent of their Internet time on social networks and blogs, and just 2.6 percent on current events & global news. As Steve Myers points out at Poynter.org, blogs could include news blogs, and portals post news stories. And he doesn’t point it out, but many news organizations now make social networks, especially Facebook — where Nielsen says Americans spend more time on than on any other U.S. website — a key part of their efforts to engage the audience, so people could be on social networks and still be on a news-related site.