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Late Night Internet Statistics: Online Videos, Games & Chat

3 September 2009 No Comment
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Internet Usage Peaks at 11PM EST for US Web Users

Internet Use Traffic Online Europe vs US

Arbor Networks recently released a large scale study on internet usage utilizing the data from 110 geographically diverse Internet service providers and tens of millions of subscribers. One of the more fascinating points of this study is when internet usage peaks for US internet users.

There was once a point where Internet usage peaked at 8AM in the morning when most US visitors get into work. However this new study showed that Internet usage now peaks at 11PM Eastern time and stays high until 3AM in the morning. This is unique to the United States as Europe was found to peak around 7PM then drop sharply for the rest of the night. Other than a slight dip during dinner hours, US users continue to use the Internet at a high rate during the late hours of the day.

Arbor Internet Use Traffic Online US Graph

North American Website Usage

This graph on the right displays the traffic cycle of North American internet users. The blue line marks internet usage through the day showing the most usage in the late afternoon, a slight drip during dinner and a significant spike at 11PM in the evening. The yellow segment is cable / dsl traffic which signifies consumer usage and attempts to exclude business traffic. The graph clearly shows that consumers play a huge role in the late night peak.

What are They Doing Online so Late!

Arbor Internet Use Traffic Online Graph

  • Online Gaming – Grows 60% after 2PM. Spikes between 8PM-11PM.
  • Team Gaming – The social nature of gaming contributes to the sudden spikes and drops as seen in the World of Worldcraft usage. A team or a “guild” of players will schedule a time to play together thus causing massive spikes and drops in the usage data.
  • Online Video Watching – Peaks at Midnight.
  • Instant Messaging – IM usage is constant throughout the day while reaching 80% of peak at 10AM and maintaining that rate until midnight.

The study showed that the rise in usage was not necessarily due to higher number of users surfing the web. In fact Arbor’s analysis suggested that web surfing was constant throughout the day. The data revealed that video watching and online gaming contributed greatly to the late night peak. Though instant messaging and video watching is done throughout the day, video watching starts to rise in the evenings while online gaming jumps as soon as work is over. It skyrockets right after dinner time, peaks around 11PM and carries for the next few hours. We do have to consider the three hour difference between the east and west coasts to account for usage from 12PM to 3AM.

When do you use the internet the most? [Non-Business Use]

When do you use the Internet the Most? [Personal Usage]

View Results

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  • When do you find yourself using the Internet the most?
  • What do you think is contributing to the late night spike?
  • Do you find these trends surprising or not surprising?

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