In February, more than 35 million people age 15 or older in France accessed the internet from a home or work computer, up 19 per cent versus the previous year and fallingonly slightly behind the UK’s internet audience.
Internet users in France spent a combined total of 932 million hours online in February, an average of 27 hours per person. Instant messaging claimed the highest share of total time spent at 14.3 per cent, followed by social networking at 5.7 per cent.
In combination, the two categories accounted for one out of every five minutes spent online during the month. Online media also proved popular, with the entertainment category accounting for 8.6 percent of time spent and online gaming 2.9 per cent share of total time spent online in February.
Delphine Gatignol, business development manager at comScore in France, said, “The Internet audience in France is growing at a rapid rate, and with 35 million people online in February, France now ranks just below Germany and the UK as one of the largest online audiences in Europe.
“Much of the audience growth is coming from older Internet users who are using the Internet for the first time. Time spent online has also been on the rise, due in large part to the increasing popularity of entertainment and social media.”
Google Sites was the most popular property in February with 28.7 million visitors, followed by Microsoft Sites (25.4 million visitors), and Orange sites (20.3 million visitors). Each of the top six properties achieved remarkably consistent growth of between 30-35 percent versus year ago.
A number of French sites ranked among the leading online properties as well, including Iliad/Free.fr Sites (16.9 million visitors), Group Pages Jaunes (15.4 million visitors), and Groupe Lagardere, which grew 77 per cent during the year to 13.7 million visitors.
Facebook.com grew 518 per cent versus year ago to 13.7 million visitors, catapulting the world’s largest social networking site into the top 10 property rankings in France for the first time in February. Meanwhile, traffic to French social networking site, Skyrock, remained strong, with more than 11 million visitors during the month, ranking it as the fifteenth largest property.
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