PARIS: More than a third of French consumers are now active on Facebook, although an equal number claim to be unfamiliar with the social network.

Research firm TNS Sofres reported that 35% of adults in the country have joined Facebook, comprised of 18% using this service "very regularly" and 17% "regularly" logging on.

A further 30% of the panel were non-members familiar with the Web 2.0 platform, but just 1% that had not currently signed up intended to do so in the near future.

Elsewhere, 22% of contributors only knew Facebook by name, and 10% were not aware of it at all.

Some 44% of the TNS cohort had reconnected with old friends through the internet, incorporating 26% of interviewees in the 50 year old-plus demographic.

More broadly, 61% of the sample said the net's most useful function was keeping in touch with relatives, recording 61%, while organising aspects of daily life - such as shopping and travel - posted 36%.

When picking from a list of inventions they perceived as similar to the web, 26% of individuals polled compared it with television, and 23% described it as being like a Swiss army knife, as it fulfils a range of needs.

Another 19% believed it is most akin to the telephone, as it offers a "better means of communication", and 16% saw it as offering benefits close to those of the printing press.

The survey was based on interviews with 1,000 people.

Data sourced from TNS Sofres; additional content by Warc staff