Web 2.0 websites accounted for 12% of all US web activity for the week ended April 7 - an increase of 2% compared with two years ago - according to a Hitwise study. Moreover, the market share of visits to those properties has grown 688% over the past two years.
The study was based on the Hitwise U.S. sample of over 10 million Internet users, which revealed results from a recent research study on demographic and psychographic differences between "traditional" and Web 2.0 internet users.
Some of the findings from Hitwise's the "State of the Web 2.0: Measuring the Participatory Web":
- Some Web 2.0 properties are dominating their category; for example, Wikipedia is the No. 1 educational reference website with over 26% market share of visits in a category that consists of 3,272 sites. US visits to Wikipedia outnumbered those to Encarta 3400 to 1 for the week ended April 7.
- Of the US visits to YouTube for the week ended April 7, the 18-24 age group was the largest demographic of viewers; the 35-44 demographic accounted for the largest percentage of users who uploaded a video. Only 0.16% of those visits for the week ended April 7 involved a user's uploading a video to the website, and of those users 76% were male.
- Of the US visits to Wikipedia for the week ended April 7, the 18-24 age group was the largest demographic of readers; the 45-54 demographic accounted for the largest percentage of users who edited entries. More than 4.5% of those visits for the week ending April 7 involved a user's editing entries to the website, and of those users 60% were male.
- Of the US visits to Flickr for the week ended April 7, 0.20% involved a user's uploading photos to the website.
"Web 2.0 websites like YouTube, Flickr and Wikipedia have achieved mainstream adoption for visits to their website," said Bill Tancer, Hitwise general manager of global research, during his keynote presentation at the O'Reilly Web 2.0 Expo on April 17.
"It's the participatory aspect of Web 2.0 that is still in a very nascent stage. When online participation goes mainstream, we can expect an explosion of new content on the web."
Newer websites such as Yelp, StumbleUpon, imeem, Veoh, WeeWorld and Piczo could represent the next wave of popular Web 2.0 websites, according to Tancer.
They are already popular among early adopters, as determined by cross-referencing the Hitwise Lifestyle Segmentation data from groups such as Young and Digerati, Money and Brains, and Bohemian Mix. All those websites over-indexed among these groups versus the internet average of all US websites.