Nielsen Online has revealed the top ten websites for British kids, teens and young adults, revealing that games, entertainment and video sites dominate the sector.
The new figures show that entertainment sites have the greatest affinity with under 12s; games sites with the 12-17 year-old students; and video sites for 18-22 year-old internet users.
TV sites popular with under 12s
Fashion community site Stardoll has the highest percentage (32 per cent) of children under 12-years- old amongst its audience, closely followed by entertainment sites including Nick, Cartoon Network, the BBC's CBBC and CBeebies, and Disney International.
Alex Burmaster, Internet Analyst for Nielsen Online, comments: "The Internet is very much an entertainment resource for young children, mainly due to how well TV broadcasters such as Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, the BBC and Disney have adapted and extended their traditional offering to the web."
Teens keen on online games
Mobile phone social networking site Frengo has the highest percentage (26 per cent) of 12-17 year-olds amongst its audience, closely followed by online games sites such as RuneScape, FreeOnlineGames, AddictingGames and MiniClip.
Alex Burmaster notes that: "As children hit their teenage years, general entertainment sites tend to make way for games-focused sites, which offer a massive range of easily accessible games and ensure that teenage gaming activity extends far beyond the PS3, Wii and Xbox consoles."
Students – cash and videos
Among the 18-22 year-old internet users, the Nielson figures show that a large proportion of the top ten sites (40 per cent) are all student-related – the Student Loans Company, UCAS and Student Finance Direct, closely followed by video sites such as Sidereel, TV Links, Alluc and Youku.
"It's interesting to see that the sites with the heaviest concentration of young adults split into two conflicting groups – functional and entertainment," says Nielsen's Alex Burmaster.
"This mirrors the uneasy transition of growing up from teenage years into adulthood and the associated increase in responsibility. Whilst entertainment, mainly through video sites, still has a place, this has been usurped by the need to investigate higher education and financing oneself through it."