Social networking websites are used by nearly a quarter of Europeans at least once a month, according to a new consumer survey.
The 2006 Mediascope research from trade body the European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA) reveals that social networking via VoIP, IM and and online forums will continue to drive internet growth as the medium becomes a more ingrained part of the consumer’s lifestyle.
The study showed that 72% of Europeans spend the majority of their time online for personal reasons, less so for work. The research also demonstrates that increased broadband penetration across Europe has positively impacted the numbers of hours Europeans spend online and has contributed to the increased use of price comparison, news and local information websites, blogging, online radio and music downloads.
The EIAA study finds that 45% of internet users in Europe now go online every day of the week, which demonstrates the increasing importance of the internet in our everyday lives and its growing role as an engagement medium among European consumers.
The average European internet user now spends 11 hours 20 minutes a week online compared to 10 hours and 15 minutes a week in 2005, an increase of 11%. With this increase, the average European is now online 5.4 days a week. "