That’s what Bill Tancer reveals in his book “Click: What Millions of People are Doing Online and Why It Matters”.

Tancer analyzes the searches people made on the internet during the past years. According to him, online search is a good indicator of what’s going on in the world and what people care about.

The results show that less people are interested in porn than ten years ago. Nowadays, 10% percent of the searches involve porn, as opposed to 20% a decade ago. Internet traffic to porn sites has decreased, whereas the traffic to network sites like Facebook, MySpace and Orkut has exploded. Especially the group between 18 and 24 years old spends more time on those platforms.

I found the news via the Dutch website Computer Idee. It struck me because the Belgian social networking site Netlog announced great news yesterday. In August, the website had more than 1 billion pageviews a month. Which no Belgian site has ever done before.

I haven’t read Tancer’s book yet, but I do have some questions (that are maybe answered in the book).

  • Ten years ago, there were almost no social network sites, so I guess it’s a bit normal that there are a lot more searches and traffic to those sites nowadays.  I’m curious whether/how Tancer took that into account making his calculations and comparing searches about porn versus social networking sites.
  • In the article on Computeridee is mentioned that youngsters are so busy chatting that they probably don’t have much time left to surf to porn. Well, I have my profile on Facebook, Netlog, Hyves, Aslpages and other social network sites.
    First of all I see that a lot of the profile pictures of those boys and ladies are quite daring. And even I with my very ‘innocent’ picture get a lot of (unasked for) attention from the other sex.
    Second of all, there is also porn on those sites, showing YouTube movies of naked girls, boob fan clubs collecting pictures etc. So porn just doesn’t stand alone anymore on the internet, but has become a part of amongst others social network sites. The web gets more and more fragmented and personalized: Content and services are no longer isolated on one site, but they are moving around the internet via all kinds of links, bookmarks and applications. Which could then mean that users consume/find/search for porn differently but not necessarily less than ten years ago?
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