1 in 5 Minutes Spent Online Is on Social Networks

4 in 5 internet users visit or use a social network

Saying that social networking has taken over the web will fail to surprise anyone at this point. Facebook and everyone in its tow are huge and they're getting bigger.

As social gets woven into more and more websites, it's getting harder to stay away and data released by comScore shows exactly that.

82 percent of the world's internet population, which the research firm pegs at 1.2 billion people, use a social networking site. That's not necessarily the number of registered users, but users that also visit social networking sites.

"The social networking adoption trend largely mirrored the global Internet adoption curve, and grew proportionately, showing that as people began to get connected, they immediately began connecting with one another," comScore explained.

"Considering that Facebook alone has well over 800 million active users, that's not really surprising.

The number is also growing, as social networks become more important, it's going to be harder and harder to avoid them online.

People are spending more on these sites as well, as of October 2011, one in five minutes spent online was on a social networking site. Just four years ago, time spent on these sites represented only six percent of total time spent online.

"Time spent on social networking sites gained ground during this time by taking share predominantly from web-based email and instant messengers, reflecting its emergence as another primary communication channel for users," the report explained.

What's even more interesting is that, when looking at individual countries, it becomes obvious that in the vast majority of places, social networks are used by more than 90 percent of internet users, in many places, more than 95 percent.

From the 43 countries in the report, China, with a penetration of just 53 percent and Japan with 58 percent are the only outliers. The fact that China is the biggest internet market is what drags down the global numbers so much.

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