Social networking is now more popular than porn

Study reveals that the major social networking services are generating more traffic than pornography sites.

Web

Social networking is popular, that is undisputable, but figures revealed today suggest that the success of sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo is now outstripping the most popular of online services porn.

According to Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at web stats firm Hitwise, who has analysed stats from over 10 million web users, the trend is clearly heading away from filth and towards trivial socialising online.

Web searches provide an almost real-time view of how society and people are changing and some of his findings are great trivia, such as the fact that elbows, belly button fluff and ceiling fans are on the list of people's top fears alongside social intimacy and rejection.

"There are some patterns to our internet use that we tend to repeat very specifically and predictably, from diet searches, to dresses, to what we do around the holidays," Tancer said.

He said surfing for porn had dropped to about 10 per cent of searches from 20 per cent a decade ago, and the hottest internet searches now are for social networking sites.

"As social networking traffic has increased, visits to porn sites have decreased," said Tancer, indicated that the 18-24 year old age group particularly was searching less for porn.

"My theory is that young users spend so much time on social networks that they don't have time to look at adult sites."

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