Nielsen//NetRatings: 76% of Users Go Online via Non-Browser Apps

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Three out of four home and work Internet users now also go online using a non-browser-based application, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.


The most popular of these applications are media players, instant messengers and file-sharing programs. This trend indicates the growing presence of non-browser Web applications on the Internet user's desktop computer.


"It's become harder to distinguish when you're on the Internet, blurring the lines between what's sitting on the desktop and what's coming from the World Wide Web," Nielsen//NetRatings senior analyst Abha Bhagat said in a statement.


In November, the total unique audience using Internet applications climbed to 106 million, or 76 percent of the U.S. online audience, up 11 percent from the same month a year ago. Also, online users spent an average of 3 hours and 37 minutes monthly using such non-browser Internet applications.


The top five non-browser applications are Windows Media Player, AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger Service and Real Player.


Of these, Windows Media Player has the most active user reach at 34 percent penetration. AOL Messenger and Real Player each had a 20 percent share. MSN Messenger accounted for 19 percent and Yahoo Messenger 12 percent.


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