Online social networking more popular than emailFacebook visited monthly by three in ten people

10 March 2009

Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other internet based social networking sites and online blogs are more popular than personal email, according to recent research.

The research into online browsing habits, carried out by market insight company Nielsen Online, reveals that internet social networks and blogs are now the fourth most popular online activity across the nine countries (including the UK) they looked at worldwide.

Time spent on online social networks and blogs such as Facebook now accounts for almost 10% of all internet time, and the online category of 'member communities' is growing twice as fast as any of the other four largest sectors (search, portals, PC software and email).

Facebook world's most popular social network

According to the Nielsen Online report, three in every 10 internet users visit Facebook - the world’s most popular online social network - on a monthly basis across the nine international markets it checked.

The research into online trends also found that mobile phone internet use is playing an increasingly important role in online social networking. 

UK mobile phone web users are most likely to visit a social network through their mobile phone handset, with 23% of those that use the internet on their mobile (2 million people) doing so, compared to 19% in the US (10.6 million people). These numbers are a big increase over last year - up 249% in the UK and 156% in the US.

Social networking advice from Which?

Which? online has reviews of 10 of the biggest and most popular social networking websites, including Facebook, Bebo, Flickr and MySpace, looking at ease of use, range of features and the way the sites protected your privacy and security.

If you fancy keeping up to date with friends via social networking sites on your mobile phone, the Which? mobile phones review has details of which mobile phones scored highly for internet use in rigorous tests.