A new report released today from OpenDNS--a DNS resolution service--casts some light on how businesses are treating social networking and online video websites--at least in terms of how employees spend their time while on the clock. While brands are racing to engage customers on social networking sites like Facebook and video sharing sites like YouTube, employers are clearly still wary of the possible time-management problems such sites pose for workers.
The report shows that Facebook is the most-blocked site by network firewalls, followed closely by MySpace. The third most blocked site? It's YouTube, where you and I keep uploading our video marketing and entertainment content in the hopes of finding new customers.
The percentage breakdown for the top ten most blocked sites goes like this:
- Facebook.com —14.2%
- MySpace.com — 9.9%
- YouTube.com — 8.1%
- Doubleclick.net — 6.4%
- Twitter.com — 2.3%
- Ad.yieldmanager.com — 1.9%
- Redtube.com —1.4%
- Limewire.com — 1.3%
- Pornhub.com —1.2%
- Playboy.com — 1.2%
This probably goes without saying, but if you're unfamiliar with a site on that list, you should exercise caution in typing them into your browser, because a few are terribly unsafe for work.
But fear not, video marketers... it's not all bad news. The OpenDNS report also lists the most blacklisted categories:
- Pornography — 85%
- Sexuality — 80.1%
- Tasteless — 77.3%
- Proxy/Anonymizer* — 76.2%
- Adware — 69%
- Nudity — 67.2%
- Hate/Discrimination — 58.7%
- Lingerie/Bikini — 58.5%
- Gambling — 58%
- Drugs — 57.3%
I have to be honest with you here--some of those categories seem like the same thing to me, so I'm not sure exactly who decides what sites belong in what categories. But it's nice to see that "social networking" and "video sharing" aren't among the most hated genres.
There's also a list of the most whitelisted sites, and YouTube is number one (with Facebook right behind it). From the report:
"Whitelists are typically used when there is a desire to block entire categories, but access to selected websites is granted on an exception basis. These sites represent the most trusted sites in their category."
So what that means, then, is that some employers looking to block video websites are going the extra mile to allow employees access to YouTube by whitelisting it. Ditto for Facebook.
So while many employers are (somewhat understandably) interested in keeping their workers off YouTube and Facebook during business hours, another group of employers sees enough business value in the sites to make special rules allowing for them.
The fact of the matter is that most social networking and video watching behavior is done during business hours, while people are at work. When video platform sites are blocked, as are the social networking sites where viral videos are spread, it can have an impact on your marketing plans. Thankfully, more than 90% of employers are apparently just fine with their employees watching your videos, so the damage is minimal.