New figures out today from comScore on social network usage in Europe. In August, sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Bebo attracted a total of 127,297,000 unique users across the region, reaching 56 percent of the population. The UK stands out for being the biggest consumer here, with 24,857,000 people accessing social networks, accounting for a reach of 78 percent of the country’s total online population. This works out to people spending an average of 5.8 hours a month online, viewing 839 pages; but the heaviest users of all spend around 22 hours on the sites per month. The country with the next highest amount of usage is Germany, with 15,475,000 social networkers; and France, with 13,332,000 users. release
The comScore report doesn’t make this conclusion, but the high usage in the UK may be because the most popular social networking sites are all in English. Some of the bigger names, like News Corp.’s (NYSE: NWS) MySpace, have tried to extend into other countries with local-language versions but these still get far lower traffic than the basic .com site. Ironically, Google’s (NSDQ: GOOG) Orkut social networking service is one of the rare examples of a site that has actually done better outside its home English-language market: the site is most popular in Brazil, other countries in Latin America and most recently in Asia, where Orkut is growing the fastest. Orkut’s combined monthly reach in those regions is 24.6 million users, compared to 600,000 in North America and about 1.2 million in Europe, according to an article this week in BusinessWeek.