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Who Spends Most Time on Facebook?

How age, income and ethnicity affect time spent social networking

The Nielsen Company reported in June that, on average, the global consumer spends about 1 in every 4.5 minutes online on blogs or social networking sites. According to a report by market researcher Morpace, among US Facebook users time on Facebook rises to 1 in 3 minutes spent online.

Unsurprisingly, despite Facebook’s growing appeal to older users, 18- to 34-year-olds spend the most time on the site per week, at 8.5 hours out of 22.4 spent online. Weekly Facebook time drops to 4.6 hours among users ages 55 and older, representing a lower proportion of that group’s average of 21.5 hours per week on the internet.

Broken down by race and ethnicity, Morpace found Facebook usage heaviest by Asians. Not only did that group spend the most hours per week on the site, but they also devoted the greatest percentage of their weekly internet time to Facebook (39.6%, compared with 35.1% among blacks, the second-highest group). Hispanics spent the fewest hours on Facebook, and even compared with their low average time online came in last.

While the Morpace report showed a decline in both total time online and time on Facebook as incomes rose from less than $50,000 up to $100,000, affluent Facebook users making at least $100,000 annually spent the most time on the site and on the web as a whole.

In Q1 2010, comScore found that the visitors who spent the most time on Facebook also spent the most money online. Targeting users who not only spend large amounts of time on the site but also devote a large proportion of their total online activity to the social network could translate to going after the most lucrative portion of the audience.

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Check out today’s other article, “How Consumers Prepare to Purchase Mobile Devices.”

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