Time Spent on Social Media Soared Worldwide in ’09

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By: Mark Fitzgerald

Consumers who so often say they don’t have time to read the newspaper are spending longer and longer time on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, a new survey finds.

A survey of global consumers in ten major countries including the U.S. by The Nielsen Company found that in December 2009, consumers spent an average of five hours and 35 minutes during the month on social media sites.

That’s an increase in time spent of 82% from December 2008.

U.S. consumers spent even more time than that, allotting 6 hours and 9 minutes — an increase of 143% during the year. Americans increased the time spent on Facebook by 200%, and on Twitter by 368%.

“Among the top five U.S. social networking sites, Twitter.com continued its reign as the fastest-growing in December 2009 in terms of unique visitors, increasing 579% year-over-year, from 2.7 million unique visitors in December 2008 to 18.1 million in December 2009,” Nielsen said.

With 142.1 million unique visitors, the U.S. had the largest number of social media and blog users in December, followed by Japan, which had 46.6 million.

But the crown for time spent on social media goes to Australia, where the average user spent not quite seven hours.

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