Social networks are now the most popular internet destination in the UK, according to new figures.
2.4 billion UK users accessed sites such as Facebook and Twitter in January, a report from Experian Hitwise shows. This represents 12.4% of all British internet traffic, meaning social media has for the first time taken the top spot among popular online destinations.
The ongoing mixing of news and entertainment sites is driving this change, as people use Facebook and similar sites as a gateway to other internet content. Robin Goad, research director at Experian Hitwise, said:
“Increasingly social networks are playing host to content from entertainment sites. This doesn’t mean people are no longer visiting entertainment or content sites, but it just means they are now interacting more with the material they watch often first via a social network – after a friend has shared a link on a site like Facebook – rather than going direct to the source’s site.”
With 30 million users, Facebook was the most popular social site, accounting for 56% of January’s social media traffic. In second place came YouTube, followed by Twitter. Other popular sites include the BBC iPlayer and Tumblr.
Previously, entertainment sites such as ITV Player and Sky Sports had been the most popular destinations, with social networks then trailing behind along with search engines.