Poker, IM most addictive web apps

'I just can't stop... '
Written by Tim Ferguson, Contributor

'I just can't stop... '

Online poker is the most addictive application on the internet among UK users, according to new research.

Users of the most popular online app, Pacific Poker, spend an average of 10 hours and 17 minutes gaming per month.

Microsoft's MSN Messenger came fifth on the list of apps, with monthly use totalling three hours on average.

In terms of audience, MSN Messenger came top with more than 14.7 million users (48 per cent of the UK internet population) during November 2006. It was closely followed by Windows Media Player, with just under 14 million users.

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Fifth on the list is Apple's iTunes media player, with 5.6 million users - 18 per cent of the total UK net audience.

Online poker has most effectively harnessed the 'always-on' nature of broadband, according to Alex Burmaster, European internet analyst at Nielsen/NetRatings, which carried out the research.

The 'stickiest' app - or the one used most frequently - is Yahoo! Widgets, with users on average accessing the app 37 times per month.

Widgets are small desktop apps that enable users to do various things, such as check wi-fi signal strength or keep up with the latest share prices.

Overall the research showed that 83 per cent of UK internet users (25.3 million people) access an internet application each month, using them for an average of three and a half hours.

The findings come from the first 'Applications Index' produced by Nielsen/NetRatings.

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