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Wednesday October 13, 2010

Survey: Malaysians have most Facebook friends

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians have the most number of friends on social networking websites like Facebook. They also spend the most hours per week on such sites.

According to a survey conducted by international firm TNS, a Malaysian has an average of 233 friends in their social network, followed by 231 in Brazil and 217 in Norway. Japanese users had the least number of friends, averaging 29.

The survey was based on recent interviews of 50,000 consumers in 46 countries.

“Surprisingly, Chinese consumers only have an average of 68 friends in their networks despite being heavy users of social networking sites,” the survey said.

In terms of hours spent on social sites, Malaysians spent nine hours weekly.

Next were the Russians, with an average of 8.1 hours per week online while those in Turkey spent 7.7 hours a week.

The survey also found that rather than using email, consumers were now spending more time on social networking sites.

Commenting on the survey, Tourism Ministry international relations department secretary Mohd Halimi Ibrahim said that social media sites would be a cost-effective way to promote Malaysia.

“Instead of spending billions on expensive advertisements, social media sites allow us to do it for free and quite possibly, reach a larger audience,” he said yesterday.

Halimi added that it also showed that Malaysia was more than capable of holding its own in matters of technology.

“This study also shows that some Malaysians spend far too much time on the Internet, whiling away hours that could be put to much better use,” he said.