In 2004, US consumers spent 42% of their online time on communications-related activities such as reading and sending email, whereas now (2009) they spend only 27% of their time doing so, according to the OPA data cited in the Factbook. What's filled the gap? Community-focused social networking sites such as Facebook now account for 13% of users' time, up from virtually nothing in 2004.
In addition to devoting more of their online time to community sites, consumers today are spending more time on content sites and search, and less time on commerce sites, than they were in 2004.
As for what specific activities US adults perform online today: —90% send or read emails —88% use search engines —76% check the weather —75% buy a product —72% get news —66% to make or buy a travel reservation —60% to look for news or information about politics (According to April 2009 data from the Pew Internet & American Life project included in the Factbook.)