NEW YORK: A key trend for advertisers and publishers to watch in 2018 is the relationship between total time spent online by the average consumer and where they spend the most time, according to Verto Analytics.

In a recent report it noted how, over the June 2016 to June 2017 period, total US user numbers for social media, communications, and mobile gaming properties (apps and websites) - categories that have historically dominated online time - had increased, while the average time spent per user with this content had stagnated or decreased.

“These engagement metrics are something that advertisers and publishers need to watch when considering where and when to reach their targets,” it said.

Verto saw consumers slowly shifting online behaviours towards new categories, including lifestyle apps and websites, and shopping and e-commerce properties, where both user numbers and time spent are rising.

User numbers for sports apps and websites have fallen but time spent has climbed to 4.3 hours a month, indicating an increased degree of stickiness, the term Verto uses to measure user engagement.

Strictly, this measurement compares daily users to monthly users and on that metric Facebook is the leading social platform, scoring 70% in October 2017, well ahead of Snapchat’s 47% and Twitter’s 27%.

But eMarketer noted that the average time spent per user on Facebook, on Verto’s calculation, had plummeted over the past year – from 32 hours 43 minutes to 18 hours 24 minutes; similarly, the average number of sessions had fallen from 311 to 173.

In contrast, eMarketer said it expected adult US Facebook users to spend roughly 41 minutes per day on the platform in 2017, up one minute from 40 minutes in 2016.

Sourced from Verto Analytics. eMarketer; additional content by WARC staff