Social networking accounts for one in every five minutes of global online activity

So we knew that the social web had taken the planet by storm; but we didn't realise the size of the impact.  That was until comScore released a recent report detailing just how much online communities have embedded themselves into our daily internet usage.

The report, titled “It’s a Social World: Top 10 Need-to-Knows About Social Networking and Where It’s Headed," discusses some rather interesting statistics and their implications on internet usage today and on the future.  First of which (as you probably read in the title of this article) is for that ever five minutes spent online globally, one of them is on a social network.  They now reach 82% of the world's internet population, totalling 1.2 billion users worldwide.

Of course, out of those grouped into the category of 'social networks,' Facebook stands heads-and-shoulders above them: accounting for one in every seven minutes of world online internet activity, and for three in every four minutes spent on just social networking.  However, the trend of social activity that has been rapidly on the rise has been microblogging, with Tumblr growing 172% in the last year, and Twitter reaching 1 in 10 worldwide internet users.

Age groups have changed focus somewhat.  Further statistics around the age groups using social networking show that people over 55 are the fastest growing audience to adopt the likes of Facebook or Twitter.  Regardless of the fact that the young audience of 15-24 are still the most engaged audience, it shows the social buzz has been catching on with older generations, making the concept age-ubiquitous.

Least surprising out of all is probably the meteoric importance of mobile use in social networking, with 1 in every 4 of the world's internet audience connecting via a mobile device on a daily basis.

Most interesting, however, would be the biggest social markets across the globe: highlighting the international adoption and global appeal of the activity.  Worldwide, the average visitor spends 5.7 hours, Israel holds the highest activity with 11.1 hours per visitor, Argentina in second with 10.4 and Russia in third with 10.4.  America, at 6.9 hours per person isn't even in the top ten, and the U.K. rank even further below that in terms of social engagement.

One thing's for sure, the digital landscape has changed inexorably in the space of a year.  Who knows what'll happen next.

Press release: comScore