RealTime IT News

Finance Sites Among Stickiest for Online Users at Work

Many people do it at work, but you won't always hear them talk about it: checking stock prices and financial news.

In January, Web users kept a close eye on the financial arena while at work. Finance sites reached 31.1 percent more Internet users within the workplace than at home. Additionally, workers spent 102 percent more time on these sites. What it reveals is a piquing interest in Internet stocks as January is typical a cooling off month for the stock market.

These finds stood out in a study conducted this week by Nielsen//NetRatings, who found that for the month of January 2000 at-work Internet users spent an average of 21 hours online, more than double the amount of time spent online by at-home Internet users.

Why are Web surfers spending more time online at work than at home? Allen Weiner, vice president of analytical services at NetRatings, said greater bandwidth of a person's Net access at work could be a major factor.

While there may be less people overall using the Internet at work compared to the home, those who utilize the medium in the workplace are spending more time on it because of its easy accessibility and its high bandwidth," Weiner. "Especially with e-tailing and B2B commerce becoming more prominent, people are frequently conducting business right on the Web.

Although the active Internet audience size within the workplace was 30.6 million, relatively smaller than the active Internet audience size of 77 million within the home, the average number of sessions online was dramatically higher for workplace users -- 41 sessions at work compared to 18 sessions at home. And most of these sessions, according to Nielsen//NetRatings, are conducted with e-finance and online trading heavyweights, including Datek Online inc., Charles Schwab (SCH) and E*Trade Group Inc. (EGRP).

In fact, among the top 10 stickiest sites at work during the month of January, five of them were finance sites. Web users at work spent a great amount of time keeping track of their financial investments while the markets were open.

Top 10 Stickiest Sites At-Work, January 2000, Nielsen NetRatings:

Property Unique AudienceTime Per Person (minutes)
eBay 5,730,590 157
Datek 623,912 120
Yahoo! 21,516,955106
MSN 17,893,88088
Charles Schwab 904,626 86
Fidelity Investments1,274,55263
RootsWeb Sites 747,788 61
MyFamily.com 1,238,699 58

This data comes in contrast to the number of at-home visitors of finance sites. Two of the top 10 stickiest destinations people frequented from home included finance sites -- E*Trade and TD Waterhouse.

Perhaps one of the reasons for the popularity of checking stock quotes and finance issues in the workplace, is that some of these companies are going, or have recently gone, public. With the Net explosion and incubators popping up every day, freshly-minted start-ups are mindful of their IPOs.

"I think the statistics speak to the fact that the workplace fits the dual productivity -- employees can look into personal trading stocks, portfolios and other financial-related info," Weiner said.

But, should the amount of time spent viewing online financials