Europe showed the highest year-over-year growth in social networking reach among the major global regions during 2010, according to a new white paper from comScore. “The comScore 2010 Digital Europe Year in Review” indicates that while Europe trails North America and Latin America with 84.4% social networking reach, its 10.9-percentage-point gain between December 2009 and December 2010 dwarfs growth in any other region of the world.
Social networking accounted for 22.8% of all page views in Europe in 2010, and approximately four out of every 10 internet sessions included a visit to a social networking site.
Social Networking Grows across All Euro Markets
The overall growth in the reach of social networking sites in Europe reflects growth across all markets. The Russian Federation showed the greatest growth with a 21.5-percentage-point increase, followed by Germany (up 16.6 points). Austria, despite having the lowest social networking penetration overall, also experienced significant growth with a 16.3-percentage-point increase.
Growth statistics were not available for Poland and the Netherlands recorded flat growth.
European Women Spend 50% More Time on SocNets than Men
comScore demographic analysis of social networking users in Europe reveals women leading in terms of engagement. In December 2010, women spent 24.3% of their online time on social networking sites. By contrast, men spent only 16.8 percent of their time on these sites, meaning women spend close to 50% more time social networking on average than men.
These figures are well above the worldwide average, which shows women across the globe spending 18.3% of their online time on social networking sites. Compared to Europe, women worldwide spent less than a fifth of their time online on social networking, and men spent even less, with only 13.1% of their time on social networks.
Euro SocNet Users Skew Young
The comScore profile of social networking users in Europe also reveals an audience that generally skews younger, with 15-24-year-olds representing 25.3% of users, followed closely by 25-34-year-olds at 24.3%. While the breakdown of European visitors to Facebook and Twitter mirrors that of social networking site users in general, LinkedIn has an older age profile.
Only 10.4% of European LinkedIn visitors are younger than 25 years old, while half of the site’s audience is between the ages of 35-54. comScore says this older age profile is understandable given the site’s orientation toward professional networking.
Facebook Leads Most of Europe
By the end of 2010, Facebook was the leading social networking site in 15 of the 18 European markets included in the comScore report. Only the Netherlands, Poland, and Russia have other social networks, in each case a homegrown site, with audiences larger than Facebook. With 48% monthly penetration of the internet user population in the Netherlands, Facebook currently ranks second to Hyves, while it also ranks second in Poland with 55.5% penetration behind Nasza-klasa.pl. However, comScore analysis indicates Facebook is growing rapidly in both those markets.
In Russia, Facebook has its lowest penetration in Europe at 18.8%, currently lagging behind leaders Vkontakte, Odnoklassniki, and Mail.ru – My World.
Turkey had the highest Facebook penetration in Europe at 90.4%, followed by the UK at 81.7%. Nordic countries ranked in four of the next five spots, led by Finland (81.2%), Norway (79.7%) and Sweden (78.%). Italy ranked sixth at 78.1%, while the fourth Nordic country, Denmark, followed at 77.5%.
Facebook Surges in US
Social networking category leader Facebook continued its momentum in the US as it amassed millions of new users and people spent more and more of their time on the site, according to another recent white paper from comScore. “The 2010 US Digital Year in Review” indicates that Facebook accounted for 10% of US page views in 2010, while three out of every 10 US internet sessions included a visit to the site.