SYDNEY: Internet users in Singapore, New Zealand and Australia are among the most engaged members of Facebook, the social network.

According to data covering eight major markets gathered by Experian Hitwise, the research firm, the average Singaporean user of Facebook spent 39 minutes per session on the site during August 2011.

This came in ahead of the 31 minutes registered by their counterparts in New Zealand, and the figure of 27 minutes recorded by Australian visitors to the same platform.

Elsewhere, the UK assumed the status as the premier European market on this measure, generating 26 minutes, while France trailed further back on 22 minutes, with the US on 21 minutes.

India posted an apparently modest 20 minutes and Brazil logged just over 18 minutes on this metric. Jim Hodgkins, of Experian, said: "With Facebook still finding its feet in ... India and Brazil, lower session times are to be expected - users won't have as many friends or groups that they have signed up to."

However, Brazil yielded the highest proportion of visits to social networks, as the category was responsible for 18.9% of all online activity, topping Singapore's comparative total of 16.4%.

The US followed next on 15.4%, beating France's 15.1%, India's 14%, New Zealand's 13.9% and the UK's 12.2%, showing dwell time and market share do not always correlate.

More broadly, the study revealed social network users in Brazil, India and Singapore rarely go on to access ecommerce sites, whereas 9% of retailers in New Zealand receive traffic from this starting point.

In Singapore, 18% of the panel jumped from one social network directly to another, demonstrating the multifaceted nature of the sector in this market.

Similarly, there are currently 3,245 social networks in Brazil, where Orkut leads with a 43% market share, although this has fallen by 18% year on year, in which time Facebook was up by 16%.

Facebook's share has also increased by 88% in India in the last 12 months, and it even gained 5% in the US, where the category is considerably more mature.

"With market share for Facebook in India increasing by 88% year on year and 16% in Brazil year on year, its influence and dominance is only set to grow," Hodgkins said.

Data sourced from Experian Hitwise; additional content by Warc staff