Survey: Singapore's Surfers Get More Sophisticated

The Internet population in Singapore is not only increasing in number, it is also growing in sophistication, according to ACNielsen eRatings.com, a firm that tracks audiences and user activity on the Internet.

The Internet is gaining popularity here, especially among Singaporeans aged below 35 years, said Hoe Chin Fee, Singapore managing director, ACNielsen eRatings. com, citing findings from the company's recent findings based on a pool of 2,000 home Internet users in Singapore.

Singaporeans increased their average time spent online to nearly 7 hours in April this year, compared to 6.5 hours the month before, Hoe said, and noted that the heaviest users, mostly aged between 21 and 24 years, each spent about 12 hours online.

Singapore's Internet population is growing rapidly and becoming more sophisticated," she said. Hoe added the continuing development of "deeper and broader" Web content and applications is a good direction for companies to move forward to.

Broadband technology will also play an important role in encouraging users to spend more time on a company's Web site, according to Bill Pulver, president, ACNielsen eRatings.com. Pulver noted that there is a strong correlation between the speed of Internet access home users have and the time spent on a Web page, where faster bandwidth meant longer time spent on the page.

Online banner ads are still "a long way away" from television ads in terms of creativity, but broadband can help balance the scale, where businesses can exploit the technology to pump up their Web sites with more interactive applications, he said. Yahoo attracted the most audiences in April this year, pulling in 309,612 visitors to its Web site at least once in that month, Hoe said, noting that most of these were males aged between 12 and 17 years.

Microsoft's MSN came in second with 268,755 visitors, followed by Singapore Telecom's Web site which attracted 230,240 surfers who were mostly females aged between 18 and 24 years, she added.

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