Social networking accounted for nearly 1 of every 5 minutes spent online globally in October, ranking it as the most engaging online activity, according to a new study by consultancy comScore (Nasdaq: SCOR).
According to the study, social networking sites now reach 82% of the world's online population age 15 or older and that accesses the internet from a home or work computer. This percentage represents 1.2bn users around the globe.
In Latin America, the percentage of the online population using social networking sites surpassed the 90% mark in most countries, with 97% in Brazil, followed by Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela with 96%; Chile (94%); and Puerto Rico (90%).
In October, Facebook reached 55% of the world's global internet audience and accounted for one in every seven minutes spent online and three in every four social networking minutes.
Microblogging has also gained ground in social networking. In October, Twitter reached one in 10 internet users worldwide, growing 59% in the past year. Other popular microblogging sites seeing rapid adoption include Tumblr, which ranked 12th worldwide in audience size, increasing 172% in the past year.
In Latin America, users spend an especially large portion of their online time on sites like Facebook and Twitter, at 28% or 7.6 hours a month.
The most highly engaged social networking market globally was Israel, where visitors spent on average more than 11 hours on such sites during the month. Argentina ranked second at 10.7 hours.
"Regardless of geography, social networks are weaving themselves ever more intricately into the fabric of the digital experience, opening a world of new opportunity for business and technology," said Linda Boland Abraham, comScore CMO and executive VP of global development.