Social networking is the world 's most popular online activity, accounting for nearly 1 in every 5 minutes spent online in October this year.
Some 82 percent of the global Internet population, or 1.2 billion users, visited social networks in October, which represented 19 percent of all time spent online, according to a new report released by market research firm, ComScore.
"The emergence and widespread global adoption of social networks has vastly influenced human interaction on an individual, community and larger societal level, and underscores the convergence of the online and offline worlds," Linda Abraham, ComScore's chief marketing officer and executive vice president of global development, said in a statement Wednesday. "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."
Social networking juggernaut Facebook was the most visited site, accessed by than half, or 55 percent, of all users globally, and accounted for 1 in every 7 minutes spent online, ComScore said.
It also observed the rise of microblogging as a popular social networking activity, pointing to Twitter which reached 1 in 10 Internet users in October, a 59 percent growth from the past year.
While ComScore said the survey findings were based on Web usage from home- and work-based computers, the research firm noted that mobile devices were "fuelling the social addiction".
"The mobile audience for social networking is still only a fraction of the audience accessing social networks via a classic Web interface through a fixed-line Internet connection... What we are witnessing is the dawn of a truly connected era, where social networking platforms integrate more seamlessly with our lives through mobile technology," it said.
In a March report, ComScore noted that social networking penetration rates in Southeast Asia were higher than the global average. Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore were also among the world's top 15 markets in terms of Twitter adoption.