According to The Nielsen Company, global consumers spent more than five and half hours on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in December 2009, an 82% increase from the same time last year when users were spending just over three hours on social networking sites.
Globally, social networks and blogs are the most popular online category when ranked by average time spent in December, followed by online games and instant messaging. With 206.9 million unique visitors, Facebook was the No. 1 global social networking destination in December 2009. 67% of global social media users visited the site during the month. Time on site for Facebook has also been on the rise, with global users spending nearly six hours per month on the site.
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% and 368%, respectively. 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. However, month-over-month, unique visitors decreased 5%.
When narrowed by individual country, with 142.1 million unique visitors the United States had the largest number of social media and blog users in December, followed by Japan, which had 46.6 million unique visitors during the month. Australia led in average time per person spent, with the average Australian spending nearly 7 hours on social media sites in December. The United States and the United Kingdom came in a close second and third, with 6 hours and 9 minutes and 6 hours and 8 minutes, respectively.