December 30, 2003, 12:00 AM

More users bypassing browsers to access the web via Internet applications

76% of active web surfers have accessed the Internet through media players, instant messaging and file sharing applications instead of browsers, says Nielsen/NetRatings. Windows Media Player has the largest reach at 34% of the active user base.

Internet applications are drawing users to the Web, stretching desktop functionality well beyond the browser, according to findings from Nielsen/NetRatings. 76% of active home and work web surfers access the Internet using non-browser-based applications such as media players, instant messaging and file sharing applications, the research firm says.

The total unique audience that used Internet applications reached 106 million during the month of November, up 11% from the same period last year. Internet users spent an average of 3 hours and 37 minutes per month using Internet applications. The most popular applications were Windows Media Player, AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger Service and Real Player. Of those, Windows Media had the largest user reach at 34%, followed by AOL Instant Messenger at 20% of the active user base.

 

“With 76% of web surfers using Internet applications, this functionality has grown beyond the browser to become a fundamental piece of the overall desktop,” says Abha Bhagat, senior analyst at Nielsen/NetRatings. “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.”

 

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