Social Media
Nielsen’s recently-released “Digital Consumer Report” contains a host of aggregated data from the company’s recent studies, and while most of the results have been covered elsewhere on this site, there are some interesting statistics related to social media consumption on desktops and smartphones.

Time Spent on Social Networks

The study indicates that while Facebook obviously leads, there’s heated competition behind the dominant platform. Among smartphone app users in July 2013, Instagram users were spending more time per person per month on the platform (3 hours and 40 minutes) than Twitter users (3 hours and 7 minutes). (Facebook was the easy leader, at 7 hours and 43 minutes per month). Both Instagram and Twitter were far ahead of Pinterest, which averaged out at 1 hour and 39 minutes per month among users. As for Google+? Just 11 minutes per month.

Smartphone users are spending far more time on social networks via apps than browsers. Facebook was the leading network in terms of smartphone browser access (40 minutes per month among those using), followed by Twitter (11 minutes), Blogger (6 minutes), LinkedIn (4 minutes) and Pinterest (3 minutes).

The study also analyzes average consumption via computers. The per-person average for Facebook (6 hours and 24 minutes) was close to the platform’s smartphone consumption average. That wasn’t the case for the other networks analyzed. For example, desktop users of Twitter and Pinterest averaged just 36 minutes each per month with those platforms.

As for unique audiences, Facebook led among smartphone apps with 109 million uniques, up 39% year-over-year. Instagram (35 million; +79% year-over-year) followed, ahead of Twitter (31 million; +38%), consistent with research from comScore. Nielsen’s data also indicates that Google+ had a larger smartphone app audience than Pinterest (21 million vs. 16 million), though that may well have changed by now given Pinterest’s faster growth trajectory (233% year-over-year versus 117% for Google+).

While Twitter may have a smaller smartphone application audience than Instagram, it does have a sizable following on smartphone browsers, with a unique audience totaling 56 million. Another interesting stat: Blogger (23 million) had a larger smartphone browsing audience than both LinkedIn (17 million) and Pinterest (17 million), though it was growing at a slower pace than each.

It’s important to note high audience figures don’t necessarily translate into high rates of engagement.

Overall, Nielsen says that 47% of smartphone owners visited social networks on a daily basis last year.

Some other notable takeaways from Nielsen’s report:

  • Consumers are spending less time with live TV, but more watching time-shifted TV;
  • Broadband-only TV households tend to be younger;
  • Hispanics spend more time than the average consumer watching video on mobiles;
  • More than 8 in 10 mobile owners use their devices while watching TV;
  • About 1 million Americans discuss TV on Twitter on any given day; and
  • Tablet owners are more likely to make purchases on their devices than smartphone owners.

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