In India, social media reaches 60 per cent of the online audience, according to an analysis carried out over January-July 2010 by online audience measurement service ViziSense.
Facebook has the highest reach. A whopping 2.21 crore people accessed Facebook in July, followed by Orkut with 1.85 crore. Together, they cater to 90 per cent of the users of social media sites.
Sixty-two per cent of Orkut's audience also visits Facebook; 51 per cent of Facebook's audience also visits Orkut. Other networks have 90 per cent of their users visiting Facebook and Orkut.
Interestingly, social networking sites are seeing great uptake from beyond the eight metros, with almost 60 per cent usage from outside them.
Facebook is the most engaging site with the highest time spent by users, with applications seeing the highest usage over sections such as photos and home page.
Amit Bhartiya, VP and GM, Komli Media, observed: "The increasing use of applications indicates that users are looking for ways to engage their friends interactively. This is where Facebook, which is growing organically, has done well."
The highest user numbers are in the 15-24 age group with the exception of Linkedin, a business-oriented networking site that sees more of the 25-34 age group.
The male-female ratio shows consistency with the overall social networking population break-up by gender, at 80:20 in favor of males. Users in the 15-24 age band are the most active over 7-9 pm.
Bhartiya said, "There are some interesting trends. The 6-10 pm heavy usage of social media points to perhaps a shift in prime time from TV to online connecting with friends among youngsters." He added that anecdotal discussions with several people in the industry are beginning to point to the possibility that the shift could be over a 30-45 minute period from TV to social media.