UK leading social network use

UK leading social network use

Brits average 5.8 hours per month on social networking sites

UK surfers have topped the charts of social networking sites, according to recent figures from comScore, averaging 5.8 hours per month.

The revelation comes as part of a report into the online habits of the UK's social networking community and the growing popularity of sites like Bebo, Facebook and MySpace.

The European social networking community stood at 127.3 million unique visitors in August, reaching 56 per cent of the European online population.

UK participation proved to be the highest in Europe, with 24.9 million unique visitors, 78 per cent of the total UK online population, accessing at least social networking site.

Use of social networking sites in the UK proved heavier than the European average in terms of hours spent, pages viewed and the number of visits per month.

The average visitor to social networking sites in the U.K. spent 5.8 hours per month on the sites in August and made 23.3 visits.

This was a significantly heavier level than counterparts across Europe. Social networkers in France averaged just two hours per month and 16.8 visits per visitor, while those in Germany averaged 3.1 hours per month and 13.8 visits per visitor.

Heavy users of social networking sites in the UK (defined as being the most active 20 per cent of users) devoted 22 hours per person to their favourite social networking sites in August, each making around making 71 visits.

Conversely, light users (defined as being the least active 50 per cent) spent just 0.3 hours visiting these sites, making 4.6 visits per person over the course of the month.

"This study reveals the importance of looking beyond averages to clearly understand the characteristics of the key segments that make up the users of social networking sites," said Bob Ivins, executive vice president of international markets at comScore.

"Averages provide a valuable summary of the behaviour of visitors to European social networking sites, but as the segmentation of this audience shows, there is a lot more that smart media planners need to know.

"As an example, about 80 per cent of all online activity at social networking sites can be attributed to only 20 per cent of visitors."