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The European social-networking community stood at 127.3 million unique visitors in August – reaching 56% of the European online population, according to a comScore report into the online habits of the UK’s social networking community.

The reports is based on data collected through comScore’s recently released Segment Metrix H/M/L analytical tool.

Among the findings:

  • UK social-networking usage was the highest in Europe, with 24.9 million unique visitors – 78% of the total UK online population – participating.
  • Usage of social-networking sites in the UK was heavier than the European average in terms of hours spent, pages viewed, and the number of visits per month:
  • The average visitor to social networking sites in the UK spent 5.8 hours per month on those sites in August and made 23.3 visits.
  • That was a significantly heavier usage than in France, which averaged 2 hours per month and 16.8 visits per visitor.
  • Usage in Germany averaged 3.1 hours per month and 13.8 visits per visitor.

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Heavy users of social-networking sites in the UK (defined as being the most active 20% of the social networking community by time spent social-networking) devoted a substantial 22 hours per person and made 71 visits, comScore found.

That user segment also consumed an extremely high volume of content from the social networking category, viewing over 3,000 pages per month, according to the data.

Conversely, Light users (defined as being the least active 50% of the social-networking community by time spent social networking) spent significantly less time engaged with such content, making just 4.6 visits per person and consuming only 47 pages of social networking content over the course of the month.

comscore-europe-uk-social-networking-usage-by-heavy-medium-light-users-august-2007.jpg

“This study reveals the importance of looking beyond averages if one is to clearly understand the characteristics of the key segments that make up the users of social networking sites,” said Bob Ivins, comScore EVP of International Markets. “Averages provide a valuable summary…but as the segmentation of this audience shows, there is a lot more that smart media planners need to know.”

As an example, he pointed out that about 80% of all online activity at social-networking sites can be attributed to just 20% of visitors.

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