Consumers spent an average 5.6 hours on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in December 2009, up 82% from the same time last year, when users were spending just under 3.1 hours on social sites, according to a 10-country* study by The Nielsen Company.

Overall traffic to social networking sites reached 307.4 million unique visitors in December 2009, up 27% from 2008 levels, according to the study. 

Social networks and blogs were the most popular online category when ranked by average time spent in December, followed by online games and instant messaging, Nielsen found.

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