What is driving time online? What do we do on the Internet? Ever wondered about that? Microsoft has been studying a number of European statistics coming from their own services as well as external data and found the following:
Content (websites, online video) and communication (email and social networks) represent 65% of all time spent online and commerce (including online shopping) represents a third (33%) of time spent on the web.
Interesting, yet no big surprises there. But did you know that Windows Live Messenger is the number 1 IM Service with 320 million people in the world exchanging 8.2 billion messages a day and that Windows Live Hotmail is the number 1 email service with 271 million emails sent across the globe daily? That on its own, the Windows Live Messenger user base is larger than any of the top three social networking sites? And that, if the Windows Live community was a country it would be the third-largest country in the world, with nearly half a billion “residents”? I sure didn’t.
With more and more people having access to the internet, Microsoft predicts that in 2010 people in Europe on average will spend more time online (14.2 hours per week) than watching traditional television (11.5 hours a week):
Today 50% of all Europeans are already connected to the Internet, with a clear north/south divide showing the Nordic countries with an internet penetration rate of 76% versus 45% in Southern Europe. Broadband Internet connections in Europe today outstrip those in the US, representing 83% of all Internet connections, compared to 70% in America.
They also predict the following 5 trends:
1. The Three Screens
We will see a concerted shift to seamless PC, TV and mobile experiences.
2. The Continual Rise of Connected Entertainment
Seamless entertainment experiences will bridge the gap between online and offline: This will end the need to watch TV in real-time as we shift to seamless PC and TV experiences. Long form video content and IPTV will become the norm on a TV that’s really, a PC. Consumers will download movies and TV shows and only access “live” TV for big news and sports events.
3. The Whole Web Becomes Social
Social connectivity will become commercial and advertising will become increasingly personal: Online commerce will represent a larger share of overall consumer spending. User generated content (UGC) online shopping experiences will provide users with a relevant online experience. And businesses will be able to target consumers with location relevant offers and services in real time.
4. The 3D Internet
The 3D Internet will become a reality, with consumers able to virtually experience a holiday resort before they book, students will be able to attend virtual lectures and shoppers will be able to see how an armchair would look in their living room before they buy it.
5. The Rise Of Smartphones
Smartphones will stop being a category of their own, and become mainstream, affordable choices. People will increasingly use mobiles as a natural first port of call for web browsing, social networking, photo sharing, music, videos and other dimensions of their digital lives. Mobile browsing is expected to grow from 19% adoption in 2008 to 30% in 2013.
We already saw some signs of that, I mean how many of you watch online videos on your mobile? I know I do on my PC and yea, I do browse the net on my mobile at times too, or read my mail. How many of you record TV shows to watch them later (Media Center)? You may have even connected your computer to your TV. And also let’s not forget about Messenger TV and JPX (Joint Product Experience). And come on, we all use some social network don’t we, if not Facebook then live.com (or another). I’m looking forward to 3D internet, that will be an interesting experience…like truly traveling from your own chair. And yes, I do shop online too.
I believe Microsoft is doing a great job in trying to achieve this seamless experience between the 3 screens with Windows (7 and Mobile) and Windows Live Services. If you are interested in reading the full report or downloading the pdf, head on over to Scribd. Like it bite-sized? Our friend Kris Hoet (who tipped me on this one, thanks Kris) has made an awesome bite-sized presentation (slide show) about it.
I believe the Internet is a necessity nowadays and broadband changed it for the better. I know I wasn’t on the Internet (let alone IM) much back when I had dial-up (ughh). In fact, nowadays if the Internet isn’t available (when I want it) I go bananas, restless, not knowing what to do, yes I’m quite addicted (sad huh).
How about you? Can you do without the Internet? Where do you spend most of your time if you are online?