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Facebook time is tops abroad, with Singapore No. 1

New study shows social-networking usage is heaviest overseas, with Singapore leading in the amount of time spent on Facebook.

Here at the epicenter of social networking, birthplace of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, it's easy to lose sight of just how much the rest of the world loves our homespun social-media creations.

As it turns out, social networking is enjoyed overseas even more than here at home in Silicon Valley. Underscoring this notion is a newly released international study from Experian Hitwise tracking the top eight countries spending the most time on Facebook and other social networks.

Here's the lowdown: Singapore loves Facebook more than any other country. In August, people in Singapore spent the most time on Facebook 38 minutes and 46 seconds per session, while those in New Zealand spent 30 minutes and 31 seconds. Australians spent 26 minutes and 27 seconds; next, folks in the United Kingdom spent 25 minutes and 33 seconds; and the United States came in 5th place with 20 minutes 46 seconds, followed by France, India, and Brazil.

Not surprisingly, Facebook was the most visited social network in the United States in August, leading with 91 percent of all visits. Second place went to Twitter with 1.92 percent of all social-networking visits. San Francisco-based Tagged.com came in third place for the first time with 1.04 percent of all visits, overtaking MySpace.

In Brazil, most Internet visits (18.9 percent) went to social-networking sites, the most popular being Google's Orkut; though Orkut is losing ground to Facebook, which increased 16 percent compared to a year ago. In the United States, 15.4 percent of all Internet visits were aimed at social networks.

Worldwide, Facebook is experiencing the fastest growth in India, where it has seen 88 percent year-on-year growth.

"Understanding how long people spend on Facebook in different countries is vital for any brand on the social network," said Jim Hodgkins, executive vice president of global marketing services at Experian, in a statement. "With Facebook still finding its feet in the emerging markets of India and Brazil, lower session times are to be expected--users won't have as many friends or groups that they have signed up to. However, that doesn't mean brands should ignore Facebook in those countries--with market share for Facebook in India increasing by 88 percent year on year and 16 percent in Brazil year on year, its influence and dominance is only set to grow."