People now spend almost a quarter of their time online social networking, says market researcher the Nielsen Company.
The firm said time spent on social networks grew 43% to 22.7% of time spent on the web. People now spend twice was much time on social media than on the second-placed gaming and seven times that spent e-mailing, it said.
In other research, ComScore found women are driving the trend to social networking, with 75.8% of women online visiting a social-networking site in May 2010 versus 69.7% of men.
It found that globally, women accounted for 47.9% of total unique visitors to social networks, but they consumed 57% of pages and accounted for nearly 57% of total minutes spent on these sites.
Yahoo, aided by market researcher AddedValue, found women worldwide spent more time on social networking sites than men, with women averaging 5.5 hours per month compared to four hours for men.
But Yahoo said women preferred sites that appealed to women's lifestyles. Their key needs involved personal growth, as well as their interdependencies on others in their social circle, it said.
These site also offered anonymity, unlike Facebook and Twitter. They offered users access to like-minded women and solutions to problems without the risk of being judged by people they knew, it said.
|Top 10 sectors by share of US internet time|
|Subcategory||Share of Time June 2010||Share of Time June 2009||%
Change in Share of Time
|Source: The Nielsen