Social networking up in February

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Internet users spent an average of 30 percent more time on social networks during February 2010 than February 2009, according to statistics released March 19 by Nielsen.

On average, global web surfers spent five and a half hours each on social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. There were 314.5 million of us who logged on during February 2010, a jump from 244.2m in February 2009.

Italians were the most prolific social network users of the countries surveyed by Nielsen. They averaged a whopping six hours 27 minutes on social networks, followed closely by the Australians who whiled away an average of six hours 25 minutes. The Japanese, meanwhile, spent the least time online - only two hours 37 minutes on average.

Facebook, unsurprisingly, dominated our time online. Over half of us (52 percent) logged on to the world's largest social networking site, compared to the 15 percent that logged onto MySpace, the next most popular site. Twitter accounted for ten percent of usage and professional networking site LinkedIn for six percent.