Social Networking Eats Up 3+ Hours Per Day For The Average American User

Ipsos-US-Average-SocNet-Time-Spend-Per-Day-Jan2013Americans aged 18-64 who use social networks say they spend an average of 3.2 hours per day doing so, according to new research released by Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange (OTX). Factoring in survey respondents who don’t use social networks, the survey finds that the average online American spends 2 hours a day social networking from a computer, tablet and/or mobile phone. Unsurprisingly, American social networkers aged 18-34 self-report spending more time than their older counterparts, and women outpace men in consumption, also.

Specifically, among American social network users:

  • 18-34-year-olds report spending 3.8 hours a day;
  • 35-49-year-olds report spending 3 hours per day; and
  • 50-64-year-olds report spending 2.4 hours per day.

In terms of the gender difference, female social networkers spend almost 40% more time daily with social media sites than men (3.6 hours vs. 2.6 hours), a finding consistent with earlier research from MyLife and from Burst Media showing women to be more active than men on social media.

Some other interesting demographic gaps emerge from the Ipsos research. Those include:

  • Social networkers with low household income spending more time than those with high household income (3.7 hours vs. 3.1 hours);
  • Those with low education levels spending more time than those with high education levels (3.5 vs. 3);
  • Business owners spending almost 50% more time than those who don’t own a business (4.4 vs. 3);
  • Senior executives and decision-makers spending 40% more time than those not in those positions (4.2 vs. 3); and
  • Unemployed social networkers spending 3.5 hours a day on social media, versus 3 hours for the employed.

The study breaks down actual hourly estimates per day, with some striking results. For example, roughly 1 in 5 users aged 18-34 claim to spend 6 hours or more per day social networking.

Emerging Market Social Networkers Are Avid Users

Looking across the 24-country sample included in the Ipsos research, some countries stand out in social network usage. Among social network users, Indonesians and Saudi Arabians spend the most time, at an average of 5.1 hours daily, followed by the Turkish (4.9 hours), Argentinians (4.7 hours), and Russians (4.6 hours). In fact, almost one-third of social network users in Indonesia report spending at least 6 hours a day socializing on social media sites.

On the other end of the spectrum, social network users in France and Japan spend the least amount of time daily, at an average of 2.3 hours.

Meanwhile, among all online survey respondents, rates of social network usage are highest in Mexico (91%), Saudi Arabia (91%), Turkey (90%), Brazil (87%), Indonesia (87%), and Argentina (86%). They are lowest in Hungary (62%), Germany (72%), Poland (74%), Great Britain (74%), and the US (75%).

Overall, 71% of respondents across the 24 countries reported using social networks for an average of 3.6 hours per day.

About the Data: The Ipsos data is based on a weighted sample size of 12,000, from an online survey conducted between November 6th and 20th, 2012 across 24 countries, with adults aged 18-64 in the US and Canada, and 16-64 in all other countries. The US data is based on a sample size of 500.

The countries reporting were: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the US.