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Study: Malaysians have the most friends, at least on social media

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Our online behavior revealed
  • Those with online access use the Internet more often than TV, radio and newspapers
  • The study spans 46 countries
  • Newer digital markets shoot past mature markets in terms of blogging, social networking
  • Internet
  • Facebook Inc.
  • Malaysia

(CNN) -- Malaysians have the most buddies in online social networks, the Japanese have the fewest, and e-mail is now relatively passe in some parts of the world, according to a research project that spans 46 countries.

According to the findings of the British research agency TNS, those online are spending, on average, more time on social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn than on e-mail -- even though such social networks have become mainstream in many markets only in the past few years.

But while online social networking has skyrocketed in Latin America, the Middle East and China, those in more established digital markets still spend more time on e-mail.

The researchers said they conducted 50,000 interviews with people in 46 countries.

The study reveals Malaysians have the most friends on social networks, with an average of 233 friends, and also spend the most time using social media -- an average of nine hours a week. Brazilians are also digitally popular, with an average of 231 friends.

The Japanese had the smallest average circle of friends at 29, and Tanzanians had an average of 38. But the study's findings noted that some might embrace fewer -- but closer -- friendships.

Researchers also concluded that "emerging" digital markets have shot past more mature online markets in terms of blogging and social networking.

"The research shows four out of five online users in China (88 percent) and over half of those in Brazil (51 percent have written their own blog or forum entry, compared to only 32 percent in the US," TNS said.

The study also indicates those who have online access most often go to the Internet for media consumption; 61 percent of online users go to the Internet daily, compared to 54 percent for TV, 36 percent for radio and 32 percent for newspapers.

"The Internet is a huge part of life in the 21st century but how it affects our lives varies depending upon where in the world you live," said TNS Chief Development Officer Matthew Froggatt said in a statement.


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