Americans And Social Networks Becoming BFFs

Twitter is huge. Facebook is enormous. MySpace is still a serious powerhouse. The bottom line? Social networks are a force to be reckoned with, and Americans are spending lots and lots of time on them. In a new study released this week, Nielsen reveled that United States citizens are spending more time than over on these sites. In fact, it found that the number of minutes that Americans spent on these sites doubled (doubled!) in the past year.

Crazier still, Nielsen Online discovered that "the number of minutes Americans spent on social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, Tagged, Twitter and LinkedIn grew 83 percent from April 2008 to April of this year." Year-over-year, Facebook has been a 700% growth rate in terms of minutes used on the site, from 1.7 billion in April of last year to 13.9 billion in April of this year. Still, many of the sites are struggling with ways to monetize the popularity, and many analysts have pointed out that they better figure it out quick if they really hope to take advantage. If you'll recall, MySpace was seen as unbeatable just a year or two back, and now it's hardly the first social network that pops to mind when bringing up the subject in conversation.

In fact, one analyst made clear that social network users are "notoriously fickle," proving time and time again that they have no issue picking up their profile from one dying site and moving on to the next hot thing. Usually, this isn't the case, but the ease of transition makes social network shifting a different beast entirely. The only question left is this: how much bigger can social networks get, and which one is set to become "the next big thing?"