Time Spent On Social Networking Sites Increased 82% In Last Year

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.  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.

Facebook was the No. 1 global social networking destination in December 2009; 67% of global social media users visited the site during the month, spending nearly six hours per month on the site. Twitter.com continued 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.

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.

Nielsen global data includes the  U.S., U.K., Australia, Brazil, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain and Italy.  As pointed out in some of the comments, the country rankings do not include China or India.

More details at Nielsen’s blog.