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Australians: Most Active Social Media Users

Web users spent more than five and half hours on social networking sites in December 2009, an 82 percent increase from 2008 -- when users were spending just over three hours on social networking sites, according to the latest market study by The Nielsen Company.

Globally, social networks and blogs are the most popular online category when ranked by average time spent, followed by online games and instant messaging.

With 206.9 million unique visitors, Facebook was the top global social networking destination in December 2009 and 67 percent of global social media users. Time on site for Facebook has also been on the rise, with global users spending nearly six hours per month on the site.

People in the U.S. continue to spend more time on social networking and blog sites as well, with total minutes increasing 210 percent year-over-year and the average time per person increasing 143 percent.

Year-over-year growth in average time spent by U.S. users, for both Facebook and Twitter.com, outpaced the overall growth for the category, increasing 200 percent and 368 percent, respectively.

Among the top five U.S. social networking sites, Twitter.com was the fastest-growing in terms of unique visitors, increasing 579 percent year-over-year, from 2.7 million unique visitors in December 2008 to 18.1 million in December 2009.

When narrowed by individual country, with 142.1 million unique visitors the United States had the largest number of social media and blog users, followed by Japan, which had 46.6 million unique visitors.

Australia led in average time per person spent, with the average Australian spending nearly 7 hours on social media sites. The United States and the United Kingdom came in second and third, with 6 hours and 9 minutes and 6 hours and 8 minutes, respectively.

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