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Brits spend over 22 hours per month online

Social networking contributes to 65% surge

Brits spend on average 22 hours and 15 minutes surfing the web every month, says UK Online Measurement (UKOM), and they've gone crazy on social networking, with a 340 percent rise in time spent on Facebook, Twitter and blog over the past three years.

According to research by the organisation, that's 65 percent more time than in 2007.

Social networks, such as Facebook, and blogging accounts for nearly a quarter (23 percent) of the average monthly web surfing time.

However, the use of instant messaging (IM) programs has declined. In 2010, just five percent of online time was spent using IM software, compared to 14 percent three years ago.

The amount of web surfing time spent emailing has also increased to 7.2 percent from 6.5 percent in 2007.

In absolute terms, Britons now spend 88 percent more time on Email sites than they did three years ago but 42 percent less time Instant Messaging.

According to Alex Burmaster from the UKOM, networking, communication and playing games are the three most popular online activities.

“Despite the large increase in the amount of time people spend online and the increasing proliferation of websites and online services, one thing has remained constant and that is the bulk of time accounted for by communicating, networking and playing games. These are the pillars on which the Internet as a heavily used medium are built.”

Burmaster also said web users spend more time on online news sites than looking at adult content.

"It is a bit of a digital myth that everyone online visits adult sites," he told the BBC.

"We divide the internet into 85 different sections so the fact that adult content is in the top 10 shows it is still one of the most heavily used sectors."

See also: 45% of men watch porn online

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