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Nielsen: Broadband use up, users more social

Survey company's latest findings show average Web users are most often on a broadband connection. And over the past year, they've been going social.

The Web has quickly become America's playground. A new study from Nielsen finds that more U.S. Web users are using broadband, going social, and checking out Web videos.

According to Nielsen, of the 195 million active Web users in the U.S, 160.3 million, or 93.3 percent, access the Web with a broadband connection, representing a 16 percent increase over 2008 figures.

Nielsen also found that more Americans than ever are consuming online video content. The research firm said 138.4 million unique viewers watched online video in 2009, up 11.4 percent from 2008. All told, they average 11.2 billion video streams per month. The typical U.S.-based Web viewer watches 200.1 minutes of video per month.

U.S. Web users are also going social in a big way. According to Nielsen, 56 percent of active U.S. Web users spend an average of six hours on Facebook per month. The social network is also the third-most-visited site by users who are 65 and older. Nielsen said Twitter's growth has topped 500 percent year-over-year. All told, the amount of time Americans spent on social networking sites in 2009 increased by 277 percent.

U.S. Web users are accessing those social networks just about anywhere. Nielsen found the average U.S. worker spends five hours per month browsing social networks from the office. It also found that 32 percent of all mobile Web users visited a social network in 2009.