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The international social network: By the numbers
Malaysians have the most friends on social networks, while the Japanese have the fewest. A look at the data from a new study on our digital world
Internet users in certain Asian countries, such as Malaysia and Indonesia, see the web as a social networking tool first and foremost.
Internet users in certain Asian countries, such as Malaysia and Indonesia, see the web as a social networking tool first and foremost.
Corbis
I

t's not just Americans who are flooding Facebook, Twitter, and their ilk. A new study on the international growth of online social networks conducted by the market research firm TNS has revealed that users in South America and some parts of Asia have even more zeal for social networking. While Americans view the internet as an information tool first, with sites like Facebook as diverting "time-wasters," says Cliff Kuang at Fast Company, many Asians "view the internet as a social tool first." Here's a data snapshot of the study's findings:

50,000 people
Number of respondents to the TNS study

46
Number of countries the respondents represented

233
Average number of friends Malaysians have on social networks

231
Average number of friends Brazilians have on social networks

178 
Average number of friends Americans have on social networks

68
Average number of friends Chinese people have on social networks

29
Average number of friends Japanese people have on social networks

88 percent
Share of Chinese online users who have written their own blog or forum entry

51 percent
Share of Brazilian online users who have written their own blog or forum entry

32 percent
Share of American online users who have written their own blog or forum entry

70 percent
Share of Indonesians who rank social networking as the most important function of the internet, above email, news, shopping, sports, weather, and education

17 percent 
Share of Americans who rank social networking as the most important function of the internet. Over half (51 percent) name email as the most essential internet tool

61 percent
Share of the international online population that prefers being online to watching TV, listening to radio, and reading newspapers

Sources: TNS, CNN, BBC News, The Atlantic, Fast Company

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