Nielsen Netratings have just released the latest figures for the top 10 UK print newspapers online. Whilst the Guardian continues to attract the largest number of unique users, most of the other papers are growing faster, and in terms of total minutes on a site the Guardian is in a poor fifth place after The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, and The Times.
The sites are being compared because they all fall under the umbrella of ‘UK national newspapers’, but the wide variety in the time people are spending on the sites indicates significantly different types of user behaviour: The high amount of time spent on The Daily Mail and The Sun may indicate that people are approaching these sites in the same way they do newspapers, seeing them as a whole package; whereas the significantly lower periods of time spent on the more serious newspapers (i.e., The Times, The Telegraph, and The Guardian), would seem to indicate that it is the individual stories that are of interest. Comparisons between the different newspapers are really comparing chalk and cheese. It is also pretty meaningless to purely look at UK figures, sites such as the Guardian have a significant following in the US (whereas the US has plenty of its own right-wing crappy press).
If comparisons are to be made between the newspapers, it would probably be more interesting to compare the results with the print editions’ circulation figures. Such figures would truly indicate the Guardian’s online success.
Nielsen/Netratings have just released figures showing the most popular social networks in the UK by unique audience. The inevitable has happened and Facebook has finally overtaken MySpace, with Bebo continuing to grow faster than MySpace. As Facebook has been the topic of (what seems like) millions of articles in the mainstream press it is unsurprising to find it the most popular social networking site, although it seems likely that many of the users will be relatively short lived…a factor that will go unnoticed in the short term.
For me the most surprising result was Friends Reunited at number 5. Not only holding its own, but continuing to grow! Why on earth are people continuing to use this site? Where you pay on Friends Reunited, its free on Facebook. It may be that Nielsen have combined the ratings with Genes Reunited and Friends Reunited Dating, nonetheless it seems to show that the constant stream of Friends Reunited adverts on the ITV web site is doing them some good.