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Top Ten U.K. Social Networking Sites, May 2009

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Despite media attention, Twitter attracted just over a tenth of the number of users Facebook did in May 2009.

Eighty percent of the total U.K. online population visited a social networking site in May, with Facebook and Bebo attracting the most unique visitors over the course of the month, according to data from comScore's World Metrix audience measurement service.

Despite the recent plethora of media attention, Twitter managed to attract just over a tenth of the users that Facebook did. The service ranked fifth, behind Windows Live Profiles and MySpace sites. Although it achieved second place, Bebo only managed to attract around a third of the users garnered by Facebook.

Almost 65 percent of the U.K. online population visited Facebook during the month, compared with Bebo's 23 percent, MySpace's 18 percent, and Twitter's 7 percent penetration.

Overall, social networking was the second most popular online activity in the U.K. during the month of May, based on average time spent per user, 4.6 hours, trailing only instant messaging at 8.6 hours.

Top 10 Social Networking Sites by Total U.K. Unique Visitors, May 2009
Property Visitors, May 2008 (000) Visitors, May 2009 (000) Change (%) Total U.K. Online Audience Penetration, May 2009 (%)
Total U.K. Internet audience 34,489 36,855 7 100.0
Total U.K. social networking audience 27,118 29,444 9 79.89
Facebook 15,195 23,860 57 64.74
Bebo 11,895 8,546 -28 23.19
Windows Live Profile N/A 6,891 N/A 18.70
MySpace.com 8,335 6,531 -22 17.72
Twitter 80 2,670 3,226 7.24
Digg 1,311 1,759 34 4.77
Friends Reunited 3,271 1,629 -50 4.42
Tagged 669 1,625 143 4.41
deviantART 900 1,453 61 3.94
Buzznet 939 1,370 46 3.72
Note: Audience includes U.K. Internet users, ages 15 and older, at home and work. It excludes Internet activity from public computers, such as Internet cafes, and access from mobile phones or PDAs.
Source: comScore, 2009

Reach was greatest among users aged 25-34, with 89 percent visiting a site in the category during the month, followed by 86 percent of 15-24 year olds. Reach was lower -- 67 percent -- among users over age 55.

Younger audiences were also more engaged than their elders, with 15-34 year olds averaging 5.4 hours per user per month, compared with 3.7 hours per month among users age 55 and older.

U.K. Social Networking Site Visitors by Age, May 2009
Age Segment Reach (%) Average Hours per Visitor
Total U.K. Internet audience 80 4.6
Ages 15-24 86 5.4
Ages 25-34 89 5.4
Ages 35-44 79 4.3
Ages 45-54 77 3.9
Ages 55+ 67 3.7
Note: Audience includes U.K. Internet users, ages 15 and older, at home and work. It excludes Internet activity from public computers, such as Internet cafes, and access from mobile phones or PDAs.
Source: comScore, 2009


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